"My work sets out to interrogate and dissect the many aspects of my own existence, including my ancestry, emotions, mental health, self acceptance, identity and healing."
Often working in a variety of different mediums, I employ the same methodology across all my creative projects and work with the principle that the spirit, energy and inspiration of the subject determine the materials and form of the piece.
Each project often consists of multiple works, often explored and experimented with in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During my process of research and production I often come across new areas of interest which in turn, lead to new bodies of work.
I am a strong advocate of art as a form of creative therapy and strongly believe that engaging in art - whether in a creative capacity or a voyeuristic role - has a beneficial effect on mental health and personal wellbeing.
b. 1981, Berkshire,UK
Merissa Hylton is a multidisciplinary artist and educator based in London. She studied at London Guildhall University and embarked on a career in architecture, interiors and textile design for 13 years before leaving the design industry to focus on developing her own art practice. She works across a variety of media employing both traditional and experimental techniques in her creative process. With a focus on painting and sculpture, her work explores her ancestry and identity through the use of symbolism, abstract imagery and portraiture.
She is inspired by African symbolism, spirituality and storytelling, and aims to share their rich narratives through contemporary visual interpretation.
Merissa is a qualified university lecturer and Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She was a key contributor to The World Reimagined Project learning programme and currently lectures international art students at a private college in central London and Westminster University.
PGCert Academic Practice in Art, Design & Communication, 2021, University of the Arts London
BA Hons Interior Design, 2004, London Guildhall University
Exhibitions & Shows:
2023 Pouring From a Vessel of Knowledge, Cromwell Place, London
2023 NAE Open, New Art Exchange, Nottingham
2021 Collective Processes, HOME x GUCCI, London
2021 Erith in Portrait, The Exchange, Erith, Kent
2021 Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize, Coventry Cathedral
2020 ‘What Does Black Art Mean To You?’, Hammersmith BID, London
2020 Leicester Black History Month, Leicester Museums & Galleries
2020 Photography, Print & Works on Paper, Candid Arts, London
2019 Bute Street Arts Festival, Luton
2019 A Windrush Legacy, Rich Mix, London
2019 The Body Image Exhibition, The Drill Hall Sandwich, Kent
2019 Here & Now Exhibition, OXO Gallery, London
2018 Cosmic Queens, solo exhibition, London
2017 Black In Colour, London
2017 If We’re Going To Heal, Let It Be Glorious, Black Blossoms, Liverpool
2023 The Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award Grant
2019 Bute Street Arts Festival Directors Choice Award
2022 The Collective Makers - Black In Full Colour, Greenwich National Maritime Museum
2022 Late at Tate Britain - Art Now, Shawanda Corbett, Tate Britain
2020 WRAP Artist Talks, Reel Rebels Radio
2019 Late at Tate Britain - Reverie, Devotion & Sacrifice, Tate Britain
2019 Mental Health & Disability in the Arts, University of the Arts London
2019 Creative Confidence, Ashley College
2022 The World Reimagined Project Learning Programme
2021 Disability Arts Magazine
2021 Black Art Magazine
2021 Still Breathing - 100 Black Voices on Racism
2020 Alhaus Magazine