Hedley Roberts

“Exact resemblance to exact resemblance the exact resemblance as exact as a resemblance, exactly as resembling, exactly resembling, exactly in resemblance exactly a resemblance, exactly and resemblance. For this is so. Because.” 

If I told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso, Gertrude Stein, 1924 A poem written by Gerturde Stein while looking at a portrait of Napoleon I, by Picasso. When Gertrude Stein was presented with her finished portrait by Picasso, a work which he had begun in 1905, abandoned, then returned to again in 1906, she commented that it looked nothing like her, Picasso replied that it was what she would become.

Between 2014 and 2017 Hedley Roberts produced a series of ‘non-portraits’ of lovers, friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. He begins by working from photographic collages using source materials from social media sites or images sent to him by friends. Sometimes he begins with a photographic image of someone that he wishes to portray, more usually he begins with a collaged image or photograph of someone who looks similar to his subject. Occasionally he just begins.

The paintings start figuratively with recognisable features and representational composition, but as they progress, elements are obliterated, layered over, removed or simplified. Works can be realised in a single sitting, across weeks or even returned to over years. Throughout, Roberts ‘imagines’ his relationship with the person portrayed, creating an internalised dialogue between the person, how he sees the person and his relationship to the process of painting. In this activity, Roberts aims to embody the dialogue between the artist and subject, to ‘make flesh’ of the interior of both, and render that which is invisible – visible. The image of the subject is transformed and ‘becomes’ a ‘non-portrait’ of the person.

The finished works become not only a portrait of the sitter but also function as “other” portraits of the time and landscape in which they were made. Roberts states “the other is my internet friend, my acquaintance, colleague, family, stranger, lover. The other is the same as me but different. They are black, white, yellow, brown, atheist, agnostic, Christian, Muslim, Arab, Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian, Kurdish, American, European, immigrant, national, ex-pat, straight, hetronormative, genderqueer, neurotypical, different, alien.”

Notes for editiors:

Hedley Roberts lives and works in Margate.

Education:

He is a graduate of Central Saint Martins BA Fine Art and the Royal College of Art MA Fine Art Printmaking, and also has a Doctorate in Fine Art from the Univesity of East London. He has been a Royal College of Art Fine Art Fellow and a Stanley Picker Fellow at Kingston University. He has worked for 20 years in Higher Education and is currently Head of Art & Design at the University of East London. He runs a number of artists Residency projects, including ‘Directional Forces’ which has has taken place in Germany, Serbia, Italy and Greece and involved over 60 artists since 2011.

Solo exhibition: ‘Hedley Roberts’, Wolo Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2014), and ‘The Lovers’, Herrick Gallery, London (2014).

Selected group exhibitions: Pravac Sila, Ozone Belgrade, Serbia (2014); Factual Nonsense, Red Gallery, London (2014) and Sunday in the Park With Ed, Display Gallery, London (2014).  His work has been presented nationally and internationally including at the International Symposium of Electronic Arts Japan, Superdeluxe Gallery Tokyo Japan, Artoll Germany, Annexe Gallery Malaysia, Nanyang Academy of Fine Art Singapore, Susak Biennual Croatia, Ozone Belgrade, and APT.

His work is in private collections in the UK, Europe and Asia.

 

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Education

2012, Professional Doctorate in Fine Art, University of East London. "Love and Other Stories; Kissing, Inbetweenness and Mutual Give and Take".

1996, MA Fine Art Printmaking, Royal College of Art (Principal Tutors; Tim Mara, Eileen Cooper)

!994, BA Fine Art Printmaking and Photomedia, Central Saint Martins (Principal Tutors; Mike Peel, Helen Chadwick)

1990, Foundation in Art & Design, Falmouth College of Art and Design (Principal Tutor; Phil Naylor)

Solo Exhibitions

2014, Hedley Roberts, WOLO Gallery, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia,

Curated by Wei-Ling

2014, The Lovers, Herrick Gallery London.

Curated by Alice Herrick

Joint Exhibitions

2015, Conjoin:me 2015, O3one Gallery, Belgrade Serbia, Collaborative project with Sian-Kate Mooney. Installation of Art-Fashion Sculptures, digital projections and soundscapes.

2012, Conjoin:me 2012, Bucks New University Gallery, High Wycombe UK. Japan Collaborative project with Sian-Kate Mooney. Installation of Art-Fashion Sculptures, digital projections and soundscapes.

2008, Conjoin:me, Super Deluxe Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Collaborative project with Sian-Kate Mooney. Installation of Art-Fashion Sculptures, digital projections and soundscapes.

2005, Day to Day Data, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth. Collaborative Project with James Coupe and Rob Saunders

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015, Fall of The Rebel Angels, Castello 1610, Venice

2015, BigDeal666, 24 Cheriton, London

2015, River, AVA Gallery, London

2015, Sunday in The Park with Ed, Display Gallery, London

2015, Tondo Time, AVA Gallery, London

2015, Chinese Open, QPark China Town London

2014, Massive Minatures, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

2014, Factual Nonsense, Red Gallery, London

2014, Fete Worse than Death, Rivington Street, London

2014, Printspace, Printspace De Beauvoir London

2014, Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, Brick Lane, London

2014, Pravac Sila, O3one Gallery, Belgrade Serbia

2014, Directional Forces 2014, Artoll, Bedburgh-Hau Germany

2014, London, AVA Gallery London

2014, Chinese Open, QPark China Town London

2013, Directional Forces 2013, Artoll, Bedburgh-Hau Germany

2013, Vroom, Kingsland Road London

2014, Big Deal No.5, QPark Cavendish Square London

2013, Chinese Open, QPark China Town London

2012, Susak Import, Studio 1.1 Gallery, London

2012, Love & Other Stories, AVA Galleries, London UK

2012, Directional Forces 2012, Artoll, Bedburgh-Hau Germany

2012, Countryside Alliance, Financial Services Authority Gallery, London

2011, Loop Extra, Edinburgh Festival, Scotland

2011, Loop, Barcelona, Spain,

2011, Professional Doctorate in Fine Art Showcase, AVA Gallery, London

2011, If You’ve Got Nothing to Say, Don’t Say it Here, Centre D’Art Contemporain, Madagascar

2011, Wunderkammer, Artoll Bedburgh-Hau Germany

2010, Professional Doctorate in Fine Art Showcase, AVA Gallery, London

2010, Unreliable Narrator, Vyner Street Gallery, London

2010, Family, Susak Biennual, Croatia

2010, Thinking Hand, APT Gallery, London

2009, Mythical Lyrical, Sueli Turner Gallery, London

2009, Professional Doctorate in Fine Art Showcase, AVA Gallery, London

1999, Estate, Howden House, West Lothian, Scotland

1999, Nanostate.org, Golders Green Club, London

1998, Arte-Fiction, APT Gallery, London

1997, 26.08.97-29.08.97 (continous, day and night), Milch Gallery, London

1996, Centenary Degree Show, Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank, London

1996, MA Fine Art Printmaking, Royal College of Art, London

1996, Spirit of the Staircase, Victoria and Albert Museum London

1995, HPDesignjet2000CP, Hockney Gallery, London

1994, BA Fine Art Printmaking & Photomedia, Central Saint Martins, London

1992, Up in Arms, Imperial War Museum, London

Curatorial Projects

2015, Fall of the Rebel Angels, Castello 1610, Venice. Curatorial Committee Member: Exhibition and Publication featuring 100 international artists. Curated by Vanya Balogh and Cedric Christie.

2015, Detour Ahead: Roadmaps for the Art and Design Industry. University of East London London. A week of guest speakers and symposiums featuring curators, artists, designers, agencies, networks, organisations. Including Richard Wilson, Gibson/Martelli, Matt Calderwood, James Jarvis, Martin Rowson, Ian Emes, Richard Golly Starzak, Darren Coffield.

2015, Art Matters. University of East London London. Art protest workshop and march, with 80 primary and secondary schoolchildren from 9 Newham Schools, students from Cass School of Education, and the School of Arts and Digital Industries.

2014, Pravac Sila, O3one, Belgrade Serbia (co-curator with Prof. Slobodan Trajkovic) Exhibition of work commissioned from Directional Forces Artoll 2014, in partnership with Belgrade Academy of Fine Art

2014, Directional Forces 2014, Artoll, Germany (curator) Residency of UEL Doctorate in Fine Art students and international artists. Residency and Exhibition Project conceived, managed and curated by Hedley Roberts.

2014, Detour Ahead: Roadmaps for the Art and Design Industry. University of East London London. A week of guest speakers and symposiums featuring curators, artists, designers, agencies, networks, organisations. Including Martin Parr, Jonathan Barnbrook, Zelda Cheatle, House of Fairy Tales, Geraldine Swayne, Bow Arts, Artsthread.

2013, Directional Forces Colony 55, Sale Docks, Venice. Director: Residency and Exhibition featuring 25 international artists. Residency and Exhibition Project curated by guest curators Vanya Balogh, Sian-Kate Mooney and Gallery Docherty.

2013, Directional Forces 2013, Artoll, Germany (curator) Residency of UEL Doctorate in Fine Art students and international artists. Residency and Exhibition Project conceived, managed and curated by Hedley Roberts

2012, East is East, Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (curator) Showcase of UEL staff and students work. Project conceived, managed and curated by Hedley Roberts

2012, East is East, CDS Gallery, NAFA, Singapore (curator) Showcase of UEL staff and students work. Project conceived, managed and curated by Hedley Roberts

2012, Directional Forces 2012, Artoll, Germany (curator) Residency of UEL Doctorate in Fine Art students and international artists. Residency and Exhibition Project conceived, managed and curated by Hedley Roberts http://directionalforces2012.tumblr.com/

2008, UEL Digital Art and Moving Image Showcase, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, UK

Residencies

2014, WOLO Residency, selected by Wei-Ling Gallery Kuala Lumpur

2014, Directional Forces 2012, Artoll, Artist in Residence, Germany (Curator and residency organizer)

2013, Directional Forces 2012, Artoll, Artist in Residence, Germany (Curator and residency organizer)

2012, Directional Forces 2012, Artoll, Artist in Residence, Germany (Curator and residency organizer)

2011, Summerlabor, Artoll, Artist in Residence, Germany, curated by Dini Thompsen

2010, Susak Biennial, Croatia, curated by Cedric Christie

2004, Southern Collaboative Arts Network (with James Coupe)

1998, Royal College of Art Computer Art Fellowship selected by Prof Chris Orr

1997, Royal College of Art Printmaking Fellowship selected by Prof Tim Mara

1996, Stanley Picker Fellowship, Kingston University selected by Phil Griffin

1994, Cultural Palace of Asilah, Morocco selected by John Hewitt

1993, School of Visual Arts, New York scholarship nominated by Mike Peel

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