Hedley Roberts lives and works in London. 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 exhibitions include 'Hedley Roberts', Wolo Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2014), and 'The Lovers', Herrick Gallery, London (2014). Recent group exhibitions include Pravac Sila, Ozone Belgrade, Serbia (2014); Factual Nonsense, Red Gallery, London (2014) and Sunday in the Park With Ed, Display Gallery, London (2014).
Hedley Roberts says he mostly thinks about "love, love lost and love lamented" when he's making art and that he's looking for "satiation... but only finds adolescent anxiety, emotional crisis and a broken heart in romantic ideals". . The pathos in his expressive figurative paintings and video installations often seem to consider our search for completeness, our desire for connectedness; our longing to fit, blend, merge or wed another. He says his practice is influenced by Roland Barthes’ 'A Lover’s Discourse', some of the work of Merleau-Ponty, hollywood love films, narratives of popular music, garments and fashion, and visual trends in social media blogging cultures. More recently, he's been thinking about Simon Blackburn's notion of 'Hobbesian Unity', 'mutual give and take' and reciprocal actions in 'lust/love'. 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, APT London and Vyner Street Gallery London. His work is in several private collections in the UK, Europe and South East Asia.
Hedley Roberts born in Germany in 1972 in a British Forces Services Hospital. He grew up with his Cornish family in East Cornwall and was the first of his family to attend further and higher education. He first went to Plymouth College of Art saturday art school at the age of fifteen. From there, he attended Falmouth School of Art Foundation, then Central Saint Martins BA Fine Art Printmaking & Photomedia studying under David Gluck, Mike Peel, Norman Ackroyd and Helen Chadwick. At Central Saint Martins he won a travel scholarship to study at the School of Visual Art, New York. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 1996, Hedley studied MA Printmaking at the Royal College of Art under Tim Mara, Alf Dunn and Nigel Rolfe. At Royal College of Art he won a scholarship residency at the Cultural Palace of Asilah, Morroco. Following his MA, he was awarded a Stanley Picker Fellowship Artist in Residence at Kingston University in 1997 and then two successive Artist in Residence fellowships at the Royal College of Art in 1998 and 1999.
Between 1996 and 2000 Hedley Roberts lectured in art and design practice at a variety of further and higher education instituions including Central Saint Martins, Camberwell College of Arts, The Royal College of Art, Hertfordshire University, North Oxfordshire College, Lewisham College, Kent Institute of Art and Design and Middlesex University. In 2000 he undertook a full time role as Senior Lecturer at the University of West London on an innovative Digital Arts programme, where he was co-investigator on a AHRC research project to propose a 'conscious artwork' with the international artist, James Coupe.
In 2005 Hedley Roberts moved to the University of East London, where he is Head of Art and Design. Between 2002 and 2007, concentrated on developing learning and teaching practice and policy in higher education, leading to a Teaching Fellowship at the University of East London and Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In 2014, he joined the Executive Committe for Higher Education in Art and Design in the UK.
In 2008, after a break in his art practice, Hedley Roberts returned to the studio and began painting, and through this, registered for a Professional Doctorate in Fine Art. In 2012 he completed his Doctorate "Love and Other Stories; Kissing, Inbetweenness and Mutual Give and Take" at the University of East London, supervised by Geoff Brunell and Lee Maelzer, and examined by Peter Suchin, Terry Shave and Tim Allen.
During the period of his Doctorate Hedley Roberts established Directional Forces, a residency programme that runs annually in Artoll, Bedburgh-Hau Germany, a celebrated arts centre located in a psychiatric clinic town near to the birth place of the artist Joseph Beuys . This annual programme places practicing artists and UEL Professional Doctorate in Fine Art students into an intense two week residency in an open studio complex. The artists work, eat and live in the accomodation and are tasked with producing a new body of work during their time there. The programme is designed to enable the studio environment to provide a mentorship experience at the highest level of Fine Art study. Artists have included Cedric Christie, Ivan Lam, John Stephens, Tracey Moberly, John Stephens and Slobodan Trajkovic. Directional Forces also undertake occasional residency and exhibition projects. These have included Pravac Sila at O3one in Belgrade 2014 in partnership with Belgrade Academy of Fine Art, co-curated with Slobodan Trajkovic and the Colony 55 residency at the 2013 Venice Biennale at the Sale Docks. Colony 55 featured twenty-five artists and was curated by Vanya Balogh, Sian-Kate Mooney and Garry Docherty.
Hedley Roberts has recently had a solo show at the Herrick Gallery London, and took part in the 20th Anniversary show of Factual Nonsense at the Red Gallery London and the Fete Worse than Death. He was recently been commissioned to undertake the first WOLO international artists residency in Kuala Lumpur with the Wei-Ling Gallery, and is planning to curate a British art show at the new Wei-Ling Gallery in 2015/16