Rose Hilton’s primary subject was the sensual female nude, but from the 1990s she also painted abstracts comprised of layered fields of colour, pointillist dots and dashes and dancing forms. Over a career spanning almost six decades, she used painting to explore colour and light in a visual balancing act, where imagery hovers between abstraction and figuration.
Rose Hilton was born in Kent, in 1931. She attended the Royal College of Art in London, winning the Life Drawing and Painting prize as well as the Abbey Minor Scholarship to Rome. Upon her return to London she began teaching art, and in the late 1950's met her future husband, the leading abstract artist Roger Hilton, with whom she settled in St. Just, Cornwall. Roger actively discouraged his wife's artistic endeavours but following his death in 1975 she took up her brushes again. In 1977 she had her first solo show at Newlyn Art Gallery, and her post-impressionist, figurative paintings have achieved wide popularity. In 2008 a retrospective of Rose Hilton's work was held at Tate St Ives.