Celia De Serra

Through her studio practice Celia de Serra is absorbed in the discipline of acute observation, the focus being a kind of visual scrutiny which aims to engage the viewer in a real sense of ‘being there’. She is interested in placing the viewer into the picture frame as a solitary observer and images she produces acknowledge human presence only indirectly via tracks, pathways, clearings and so on. These traces of activity act as a kind of metaphor or proxy for human narratives. ‘Captured’ or ’empty’ viewpoints are only the beginning of an ongoing investigation for de Serra; the drawings pose questions rather than provide answers, their meanings transient and allusive. The result is, perhaps, a thwarted sense of anticipation and subsequent emotional edge.

Celia’s work has at varying times been described as situated half way between a traditional and contemporary approach, and, although it may hark back to romantic artists, it also maintains close sympathies with the new generation of obsessively observational artists.

Celia has completed commissions for both Somerset and Dorset NHS Trusts where a collection of her paintings now remain on permanent display. She was also recently granted an award for her drawings from the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust.

CV and Exhibitions

Born: 1973


  • 1992-95 Exeter University, BA Fine Art and English Literature
  • 1991-92 Newcastle University, Foundation year Fine Art

Selected solo exhibitions

  • 2012 Exhibition of Drawings Silk Top Hat Gallery, Ludlow
  • 2011 Understories Celia Lendis Contemporary, Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Recent Drawings and Paintings Silk Top Hat Gallery, Ludlow
  • Off the Beaten Track Dorset County Hospital, Arts in Hospitals
  • Dorchester Take care of the senses and the sounds will take care of themselves…
  • The Art Stable, Child Okeford, Dorset
  • 2006 Celia de Serra Dorset Arts Weeks, Bridport, Dorset
  • 2005 Pit-stops & Beauty Spots Dorset County Hospital, Arts in Hospitals, Dorchester
  • 1998 Recent Paintings Atrium, Cork Street, London
  • 1996 Land Exeter and Devon Arts Centre, Exeter
  • 1995 Recent Paintings Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset

Selected group exhibitions

  • 2012 Ludlow Open Ludlow College, Shropshire
  • Stock Show The Art Stable
  • 2011 Women Painters, Celia Lendis Contemporary
  • A Few of our Favourite Things Dorset County Hospital
  • 2010 Christmas Show Silk Top Hat Gallery, Ludlow
  • Group Show Twenty-Twenty Gallery, Much Wenlock, Shropshire
  • Ludlow Summer Exhibition Ludlow, Shropshire – selected by panel
  • 2009 Mixed Exhibition of painting and sculpture The Art Stable, Child Okeford, Dorset
  • Ten Artists for Christmas The Old School, Stanton Lacy, Ludlow, Shropshire
  • Leaden Hall Art Show Leaden Hall, The Close, Salisbury
  • 2008 Autumn Show Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester
  • Emporium Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Pill, Bristol
  • 2007 Autumn Show Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester
  • Leaden Hall Summer Show Leaden Hall, The Close, Salisbury
  • 2006 Celia de Serra and Colin Willey Elder Froy, Poundbury, Dorchester
  • 2000 Mixed Show Coombs Contemporary, London
  • 1999 Group Show Coombs Contemporary, London


  • 2012 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Award
  • 2010 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Award

Collections and commissions

  • Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, Dorset
  • Yeovil District Hospital, Somerset
  • Nagan Johnson Design, London
  • Hoy-Williams Design, London
  • Hambro family


  • What to Buy – The Week, 17th March 2012 (Catherine Milner)
  • LSE Catalogue (2012)
  • Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in Somerset – The Public Catalogue Foundation (2010)
  • LSE Catalogue (2010)