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Hedley Roberts makes ‘non-portraits’ of lovers, friends, family,

acquaintances and strangers. He begins by working from images sent to

him by social media friends that he collages or paints over. The paintings

start figuratively with recognisable features and representational

composition, but as they progress, elements are obliterated, layered over,

removed or simplified. Works are returned to over weeks, months and years

as the paint dries and layers are built up. The finished works stop being a

representational portrait of the sitter and instead begin to function as

“other” portraits of the internal dialogue, thoughts, time and socio-political

landscape in which they were made.


Hedley states: “The other in the painting 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, heteronormative, genderqueer, non-neurotypical, different, alien, other."

Born 1972 in a British Forces Hospital in Germany, Hedley grew up in an

isolated rural area of Cornwall. He escaped and attended Plymouth School

of Art, Falmouth School of Art, Central Saint Martins, The School of Visual

Arts NYC, the Royal College of Art and has a Doctorate in Fine Art from the

University of East London. He has been a Royal College of Art Fine Art

Fellow and a Stanley Picker Fellow at Kingston University. With over 20

years in Higher Education , he is currently Head of Luton’s School of Art &

Design at the University of Bedfordshire. He is passionate about supporting

developing artists and runs a number of artists residency projects, including

‘Directional Forces’ which has taken place in the UK, Germany, Serbia,

Greece and at the Venice Biennale Italy, with over 100 artists since 2011. In

2018, Hedley Roberts selected 20 new and emerging painters working in

the UK today for a compendium exhibition at New Art Projects gallery


“This is not a portrait, it is a painting.”


Solo exhibitions

‘Other Portraits’, New Art Projects Gallery London (2017)

‘Hedley Roberts’, Wolo Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2014)

‘The Lovers’, Herrick Gallery, London (2014)

Selected group exhibitions:

Face On, CG36 Gallery, Berlin DE (2019)

Tales of Talent, Galerie Wolfsen, Alborg DK (2018)

Places, Faces and Spaces, New Art Projects, London UK (2018)

We Are The Ones Doing Works on Canvas, Painting XXXX, GSK Gallery,

Copenhagen DK (2018)

Art for Living, New Art Projects with Colefax and Fowler, London UK (2017)

Conversations (with Alex Wood), New Art Projects Gallery, Pulse Miami US


The British Society Of Self-Deprecation, Cheng Centre for Contemporary

Art, Bejing CN (2016)

Pravac Sila, Ozone Belgrade, RS (2014)

Factual Nonsense, Red Gallery, London UK (2014)

Sunday in the Park With Ed, Display Gallery, London UK (2014)

Colony 55, Magazzini Del Sale, Venice IT (2013)

Hedley Roberts’ 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 and museum collections in

the UK, Europe and Asia.

Hedley Roberts lives and works in Margate and London.

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