Brenda Hartill RE is an innovative British painter / printmaker based in East Sussex where she has a studio. Her working time was also spent in her studio in the Andalucian mountain village of Gaucin in Southern Spain, and on visits to the wilds of New Zealand where she was brought up.
Her work explores the texture, pattern and light of landscape, and ranges from finely drawn figurative works to bold, heavily embossed abstract images. She is most interested in the strong light and shadow of Southern Europe, as well as remote New Zealand.
Born in London, Brenda Hartill emigrated to New Zealand with her parents, in the late fifties, and was educated there graduating FA honours at the University of Auckland. She returned to London in the late sixties, as a graduate student at the Central School of Art and Design. She become involved in theatre design, and after marrying, spent a period lecturing and designing in University theatre in the United States (North Carolina State University). Hartill returned to London in the early seventies to take up a British Arts Council award in the National Theatre at the Young Vic under Frank Dunlop and Peter James. She then worked as a freelance designer at the National Theatre, (Fanfare for Europe "Twelfth Night" at the Old Vic), Criterion Theatre ("Rosencrantz") Royal Shakespeare Company, amongst others.
In the early eighties, in search for more artistic independence, she turned towards printmaking and has been successfully been publishing her own work from her own large studio. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (R E), showing regularly at the Bankside Gallery, London (next door to the Tate Modern), and at the New Academy Gallery, Windmill St. She often shows in the RA Summer Exhibition and the National Print Exhibitions in London, as well as many mixed shows countrywide. Her work is in the collections of many large companies, including BP, Bank of England, Global and BT, and her work is sort after by art consultancies, interior designers and architects worldwide.
Alongside the printmaking, Hartill also finds a more direct painterly approach refreshing, and has recently rediscovered the clear colour and overlaying possibilities of watercolour in her abstract works which serve to extend the vocabulary she uses. In addition the three dimensional have always interested her. The more sculptural embossed etchings and collagraphs have led to a breaking away from print on a single piece of paper to mixed media compilations – for example the "floating landscapes".