Siris Hill is a self-taught artist whose creative practice is centred around Renaissance and Baroque inspired figurative painting. His work explores the effects of mental illness and other psychological conditions of the mind on an individual. Focusing on the struggle of perception, he depicts the beauty of individuality, but the strongest message is the struggle of trying to live. Siris is a digital fine artist, replicating the textures and movement of oil and acrylic paint.
“I’m Siris Hill. I’m 27. I have suffered from anxiety and depression since my late teens, and, have become somewhat agoraphobic due to the anxiety, which makes it difficult to network with other people. I sometimes find it difficult to share my work. This is caused by past rejection, anxiety about approaching people, and not feeling good enough.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at birth. I practically lived in hospitals until the age of fifteen when I decided I was sick of them mistreating me. I stopped taking my medication, and have been physically healthy ever since, although I began getting anxiety attacks due to the trauma of my childhood.
I started painting 4 years ago, as a way to relax. Since then it has become a form of meditation for me. I am self-taught and my work portrays the raw feelings and emotions felt living with mental illnesses. It might be difficult for a person living without a mental illness to understand what it’s like for me – I often feel frustrated and isolated.
I love oil painting, but I’m unable to use it due to the fumes and certain materials triggering my anxiety. I taught myself to replicate techniques of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt. Due to the advancements in technology I’m able to replicate traditional painting almost exactly, the only difference is drying times between layers.
I use a graphics tablet which tracks the movement of a pen that I hold to paint so my hand movements are then replicated on the screen. Other than that my process is almost exactly like Rembrandt’s, from what I’ve gathered through research at least. I build up a rough sketch to find a composition, fill in light and shadows, work in black and white to realise my forms and then glaze colours on top (although sometimes I work with colour straight away).
Painting is my way of expressing what I can’t talk about. My art may seem dark, but, I feel it reflects the reality other people like me live with day to day.”
To see more of Siris Hill’s work, please visit his website, www.sirishill.co.uk/, Instragram, and Facebook profiles. Siris recently exhibited with ten other artists living with mental ill health. Their self-curated show, Absence, can be viewed online, here.