Serena was born in London and moved to Southwold in 1983. She graduated from Edinburgh college of art in 1995.
Serena Had her first solo exhibition in Southwold in 1996. A painting from this exhibition, Blue Southwold went on to become a instant best selling postcard in a card company and is still sold today.
In 1997 she opened her first gallery, relocating a year later to 16 Queen Street.
Since then, she has exhibited in Southwold every year for 24 years.
She has completed numerous commissions and projects and been part of many community charity events raising many thousands of pounds for the RINL, Cancer research and many local charities.
Serena won the creative category for 'Woman of the Year' award from the Princes Youth Business Trust and then became the overall National winner.
Her gallery was voted number one best coastal gallery by Coast magazine.
Her work is sold to customers from all around the world.
Her paintings have been described by her customers as joyful, original, bold, vibrant, inspiring and optimistic.
Serena originally moved with her family to Southwold, Suffolk when she was twelve years old. After happy holidays in Southwold, as a family, they had all fallen madly in love with an unusual house on Ferry Road and moved to live here full time.
It was here, with the inspirational coastal views from her new home, that she really began to paint.
"My bedroom window suddenly overlooked the sea and the sand dunes, it was an incredible moment when I realised this was now my new home, I fell in love completely with my surroundings and this has never left me"
Serena's mother, Val was a potter and a chef so she was making and glazing her own ceramic tiles as a very young girl. Her earliest memories are all happy memories based around clay and cake. Surrounded by a creative family, (Her father, Derek was a writer and her grandparents were both jewellers.) her love of drawing and painting was encouraged completely.
The garage was turned into her studio and she used big decorators brushes on her canvases which turned into her signature style of using broad brushstrokes and a love of vibrant colour. The garage had double doors that overlooked the marshes and the harbour so it was an amazing first studio. She gradually started to sell from her garage to local people and got her first commissions from here aged 15/16
Serena credits her grandparents, who lived in Spain and her visits to Spain and the Mediterranean as having a huge influence on her paintings and her love of colour. She was and is still very inspired by the impressionists and fauvism movement of artists, who painted emotions not just what they saw and the fact they painted in glorious colour.
The idea of painting emotion or expressing emotion through colour in painting became very profound after Serena lost her Mother to cancer when she was 15 years old. A few years later she and her brother also lost their father and their home.
"I was and continue to be hugely inspired by the love, joy and memory of my beloved family, losing my mother at 15 years old and then my father and my home a few years later was devastating and life changing. I felt I only had my work to keep me going and I used all the wonderful memories we had as a family to create a focal point for my paintings"
"After Graduating from Edinburgh college of Art, I received a small Princes Trust Grant to buy my first kiln and I was able to start making what became my very popular ceramic fishes and tiles. Under very difficult circumstances; No money and officially homeless, I lived with friends and slowly built up a portfolio of work and gradually saved enough to rent a small basement studio space in Southwold. (Remember, this was over 23 years ago, long before Southwold was as popular or as expensive as it is today)
This space was a dark, very smelly and very damp basement fish cellar with no natural light or windows. Customers had to navigate steep steps into a dark room. Undeterred and full of optimism, I was determined to turn this small odd space into my first Gallery, selling my paintings and drawings of Southwold. I managed to somehow encourage customers down into my gallery by hanging colourful ceramic fishes outside the fish cellar and they slowly found me and brought my work. I made a large colourful ceramic sheep which became a well known sight to encourage people into the gallery. Unfortunately after a few months, he got crushed by a fish van, however it had become a well liked sight that people got upset about it being run over and the story got into the papers and the publicity made more people to know about the gallery!"
After one year Serena was able to relocate to a much better location in Queen Street, where she has been ever since.
Through sheer determination and passionate hard work her gallery in Southwold has now been established for 20 years, 22 including the Fish Cellar.
"When I look back now, when my father died, after my mother, and I lost my home, I knew I had a choice to either sink or swim. I had to keep going, to keep putting one foot in front of the other and one brushstroke in front of the other, Just keep going! My Grief was debilitating but I was determined to 'Paint myself happy" I gradually did this over many years and created my business at the same time. I wanted to focus on the joy my family gave me, in my work through colour"
She say's that "My favourite subject matter continues to be what surrounds me everyday, the seaside environment in which I live. The harbour, the town and the coastline all provide me with endless inspiration.
I have been lucky that my customers have always responded to my work, telling me that they feel the joy in my paintings, which is a wonderful thing and I hope to continue to do this. I am fascinated by the relationship between colour, shapes and emotions and look forwards to exploring these themes further in my work."
Serena's work is a celebration of life. Creative, joyful and original.
Serena has won numerous awards including winning the National The Prince’s Trust Visionary Woman award of 2001. The gallery also won the best creative category. Her gallery was shortlisted for Country Living's 'Best Rural Business' award and more recently, the Serena Hall gallery was also been voted number one best coastal interiors gallery by Coast magazine.
Serena's work is held in private collections including that of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. Serena's paintings are now collected worldwide with recent paintings being shipped to Australia, New York and Tokyo.
She continues to be inspired by the UK coastline and is always working on new exciting projects.