Tristam Paul Hillier was an English surrealist painter. He was born on April 11, 1905 in Peking, China. He was the four children of banker Edward Guy Hillier and his wife, Ada Everett Hillier. He was educated at Downside School. He returned to China in 1922 to study the language. He stayed until 1924, when he started college at a Catholic school in Cambridge. His first one man show was in 1931 at the Lefevre Gallery.
Hillier was a member of Unit One, a British Modernist group of painters, sculptors, and architects founded by Paul Nash. Unit One was active from 1933 to 1935. This group is regarded as a very influential in focusing on London as the center of the Modernist Movement in art and architecture.
During the Second World War, Tristam served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves and the Free French. After the war he lived in France and Spain for a while before returning to England.
The marriage ended in 1935.
In 1937 he married Leda Millicent Hardcastle, the daughter of Sydney Hardcastle, the inventor of the First World War Hardcastle Torpedo. Together they had two daughters, Mary and Anna-Clare.
Tristam Hillier died in Bristol, England, on January 18, 1983. He remained a surrealist painter all of his life.