Born in Oxford in 1973 Dan graduated from the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in 1995. ‘I make collages and ink drawings using a mixture of found imagery and my own imaginings. My work is born out of a passion for line work and collage, a love of archaic imagery and an urge to produce pictures that provoke humour, wonder and a certain subconscious recognition in the viewer. When I work I usually begin with an idea of what I want to make and sift through source material from old books and illustrations, allowing myself to be led by what I find and whatever associations may arise, whilst keeping the various possible final outcomes in mind. I scan these source elements where I play around with them and excavate the final picture, adding scans of my own ink drawing where necessary. This intuitive process of exploration is the basis for my working practice and leaves room for unexpected ideas to arise as I head towards the final image. Usually I aim to produce a series of like pictures that will work as a whole whilst retaining their individuality. Finally the work is produced as a screen print or sometimes an ink drawing. Nearly all of my work is figurative and comprises totemic or iconographical combinations of human, animal, plant and mineral forms. The subjects are generally set in blank spaces devoid of context.
The characters in my pictures display an emblematic composite of human and non-human attributes, drawing on, but rarely literally depicting, ancient mythological beings, Victorian freak-shows, dream imagery, religious iconography and subconscious inspiration, whilst promoting a sense of transformation, repression, transcendence and evolution.
Using mostly found imagery has always been a part of my practice. It is a way for me to utilise the visually arresting elements of quite ordinary scenes I find and bend them into a cohesive whole that becomes an expression of my imagination. It is also simply an enjoyable way to make pictures.
About the artist
Contemporary Fine Art Gallerysee "DAN HILLIER - artist's statement" on Liberty Gallery's website
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