Elizabeth Hannaford Studio.jpg

Elizabeth Hannaford is a contemporary painter living and working in London. She was born on a farm in Devon and her work is strongly linked to her early experiences of the Devon countryside and also to the remoteness of Dartmoor National Park. She originally practised as a City Lawyer and later as a State Registered Art Therapist. She has painted full time since 2000.


My artistic practice explores the degree to which a painting can communicate not only a visual experience, but also ‘unpaintable’ ones, such as sound and emotion. Hence the abstraction in my work as I search for marks and washes to describe those things.

I’m always concerned with surface texture and see my paintings as physical objects. I like to use deep stretchers, where the sides of a work are often very much part of it.  At the same time I’m also interested in the traditional concern of the painter with the creation of illusory space. That sense of space, as well as of energy and movement, is informed by many years drawing the moving human figure. I consider that drawing underpins my practice.

 I work in both oil and watercolour, striving to capture in my oil paintings the freedom and spontaneity of the latter. I resist overt figurative references, unless it seems a necessary part of what I am trying to communicate and can be absorbed organically into my composition.

My oils are made by pouring glazes of paint onto canvases over a period of time. I sometimes add grit and graphic marks and leave areas of canvas untouched in order to suggest ‘nothingness’ or silence, or to create a feeling of lightness and space. I often make diptychs, triptychs and multi-panelled paintings, sometimes as many as ten – the last to be viewed or read like a line of poetry, or experienced over time, like a piece of music. The gaps between panels emphasise the object nature of the work – as does my occasional work with mixed media (including bleach) on unprimed linen.

I sense alchemy in my work and know that a painting is finished when it takes on a life of its own, speaking back to me - sometimes through text, added while making a painting, or at the end.

New technology has enabled me to experiment and develop my interest in ‘painting as object’ and in the creation of energy and space. I see my digital work as an extension of my painting practice – painting, just not with paint!  Neither hologram nor back-lit image, my method of presenting the 2-dimensional iPhone image makes it appear to occupy real space within a box frame, fusing within it and assuming a 3-dimensional presence. The technology suits the way I work, particular with music.



2017     Wine Art  Oddbins, London N8
2015    Less Abstract, More Real, Highgate Gallery, Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, London N6
2013    Wine Art  (with the Wine Society & Poet in the City) Clifford Chance LLP, Canary Wharf London E14
2011     KINGS PLACE London N1, Installation in concert with award-winning David Gordon Jazz Trio
2006    Spring Solo, Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw, 11 Pilgrim Street, London WC1
2005    Paint!  ART FIRST, 9 Cork Street  London W1  
2000    Natural Forms, Row & Maw:  Art at Fleet Place, London EC4 
2001    Eat::Art   E1 Gallery, 10 White’s Row, London E1
1996    Dual Perspectives, Diorama Gallery, 34 Osnaburgh Street, London NW1
1991    The Moving Figure, The Square Gallery, Highgate, London N6 


2019 “BRITISH PAINTING II”, Bermondsey Project Space, Bermondsey Street, London SE1 2019 “Highgate’s Historic Women”; launch of PINK PLAQUE PROJECT @ Lauderdale House, London N6 2019 “Members’ Open” Highgate Gallery, Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, London N6 2018     ING DISCERNING EYE, Mall Galleries London SW1
2018     “Women Only”, Highgate Contemporary Gallery/THROWN, London N6
2018     “Random” Ply Gallery, Hornsey Town Hall N8, artist-led exhibition with Crouch End Open Studios
2017     21st NATIONAL OPEN ART EXHIBITION Bargehouse, South Bank, London SE1
2017     ING DISCERNING EYE, Mall Galleries London
2017     “Summer Salon” Lubomirov / Angus Hughes Gallery London E5
2017     SWA, Mall Galleries SW1 (Open Submission)
2016     THE SUNDAY TIMES WATERCOLOUR COMPETITION Mall Galleries SW1 (and touring)
2016     ART-ATHENA INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, Athens, ‘Platform Projects’, with Angus-Hughes
2013     ‘My Postcard’, ACME Project Space, London E2
2011     Shirley Crowther Contemporary Art,  Hampstead Affordable Art Fair 
2008    ART FIRST, 9, Cork Street, London W1
2007    ART FIRST, 9, Cork Street W1
2007    Collyer-Bristow Gallery, London WC1
2006    ART FIRST
2005    ART FIRST
2005    LONDON ART FAIR with Art First
2004    Collyer-Bristow  Gallery WC1  -  two shows
2003    ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS Summer Exhibition, London W1
2002    Collyer-Bristow Gallery WC1
1999     TATE REGENERATION PROJECT ‘Bankside Browser’, St Christopher’s House, SE1
1998     HUNTING ART PRIZES  Royal College of Art, London SW7.               
1998     Newport Museum & Art Gallery, Wales.                
1998     Collyer-Bristow Gallery, London WC1.
1997     ‘Regeneration: A celebration of Art In Southwark’, Price Waterhouse Building, London Bridge E1.                               


2018     ING DISCERNING EYE, Mall Galleries London N6 – selected by Bridget McCrum & Nick Ross
2017     21st National Open Art Finalists’ Competition,  Bargehouse, Oxo Tower, South Bank, SE1 -  selected by Hughie O’Donoghue, Lorenzo  Belenguer, David Remfrie, Cynthia Corbett, Kelvin Okafor
2017     ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries SW1 - selected by Simon Tait
2017     Summer Salon, Lubomirov / Angus Hughes Gallery London E5 – open submission
2017     Society of Women Artists, Mall Galleries SW1 - open submission
2016     Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Mall Galleries - selected by Ajash  Bhatt, Sara Dudman, Simon Oldfield, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Louis Wise
2016     Athens International Art Fair, ‘Platform Projects’ with Lubomirov / Angus Hughes – open submission
2003    Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts - selected by Anthony Wishaw
1999     Finalist International Emerging Artists Exhibition, The Limner Gallery, NYC                            
1998     Finalist Hunting Art Prizes RCArt - selected by Tom Coates, William Packer, Reg Singh            
1997     Finalist Cheltenham Open Drawing Competition
1995     ‘Southwark Open’  South London Gallery, London SE5.




  • Cable & Wireless Communications plc,
    The Mill (Film and Video Co.) 40-41, Great Marlborough Street, London W1
    Mayer Brown International plc, 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2

  • Heathrow Airport Authority: permanent collection (shortlist)


  • London, New York, San Francisco, Germany, France, Athens.


2019 Tabish Khan (FAD Magazine) rates British Painting II one of “top 7 shows to see in London” 2019 Evening Standard - Pink Plaque Scheme initiative ‘by several artists to create accreditation for Highgate’s historic remarkable women’ 2018 Discerning Eye Catalogue featured an image of one of Hannaford’s selected iPhone works 2017   Hampstead & Highgate Express: Etcetera/Art Exhibitions
2015    Agenda Poetry Journal (founded by Ezra Pound) features music paintings & works on paper on front cover and inside.
2015    Hampstead & Highgate Express: ‘Landscapes and Soundscapes in Highgate’ - Alison Oldham
2009   Young Lawyer Magazine, “Down to a Fine Art’
2006   LINK Association of Women solicitors Magazine, ‘Legal Artist’
2005   The Week: ‘Where to buy …’
2005   Hampstead & Highgate Express: ‘Unusual Interface’
2004   RA Magazine, Winter issue, ‘Natural Women’
1997    Independent on Sunday,  ‘Abstractly fabulous’: review of London Art House show,
1997    Evening Standard,  Hot Tickets: Galleries, Choice by Kate Bernard
1991     Hampstead & Highgate Express: ‘A new brief for Hannaford’


2019 Highgate’s Historic Women & Launch of the Pink Plaque Project - illustrated talk at Lauderdale House, London N6 2015   An Art and Music Conversation, Highgate Gallery, London N6, in collaboration with classical & jazz musician David Gordon:  ‘One of England’s finest musicians’  Director London Chamber Orchestra; ‘One of our most brilliant pianists”’ London Jazz News
See video below which was shown during this event

2005     An Art and Music Evening, Art First, 9 Cork Street, W1, in collaboration with organist & composer Chris Bowers-Broadbent:  ‘The style of the music is cool and contemporary … filtered through Bowers-Broadbent’s highly original mind‘,  BBC Music Magazine.