Hilary has always had an interest in textile arts, having come from a family who embroidered. Whilst still in Scotland in the early 1980s she was part of a project to embroider new kneelers for the Chapel Royal in Falkland Palace in Fife which now belongs to the Scottish National Trust. On moving to Godalming she studied City & Guilds in Creative Embroidery (1983 – 1987) with Vicky Lugg.
She is a member of ‘In Stitches’ and of Wey Valley Workshop, and has exhibited regularly with both groups. In recent years she has been attending the Advanced Embroidery Workshop at East Berkshire College in Windsor (now moved to South Hills Art Centre, Bracknell).
Hilary established The Silk Route in 1989 after having used silk in a number of projects.
She enjoys working with layers of sheer fabrics which she has painted and monoprinted. Her inspiration can come from natural sources, including sea, rocks and sand, and from her interest in ancient civilisations and their use of patterns and symbols.
Ancient ImagesOn a visit to Haghia Sophia in Istanbul I noticed how some of the arches still had some of the early Christian symbols in black glass mosaics glinting with gold, silver and red.
I have interpreted this using layers of monoprints (organza, waxed painted paper) and stitch to give an impression of the magnificence and richness of this wonderful, ancient building.
Ancient Images were exhibited at the In Stitches Exhibition at Farnham Maltings, 2006.
This piece was developed from a study of cuneiform script which contains information understood by only a few scholars. This elegant script was used widely in the ancient Middle East.
The colours were taken from a panel of glazed bricks from the Ishtar Gate complex in ancient Babylon, which listed the names and titles of King Nebuchadnezzar, and which was exhibited at the at the British Museum’s Babylon exhibition in 2008-09.Experiments were undertaken using collage to build up layers representing the disintegration of that civilisation.
For the final piece, a selection of silk fabrics and papers were dyed, printed and stitched to give varying textures. Fabrics were torn and applied, with gold rubbed over, then stitched. The lower part was embellished using silk dupions, then printed organzas were applied and stitched.
The piece is mounted on Perspex to emphasise the fragmentary image.
Babylon was exhibited at East Berks College Summer Exhibition in 2010 and Ramster in 2011.
Babylon FragmentA second, smaller, piece constructed using similar techniques to 'Babylon, above.
The design source for Doorways came from a fragment of a 17th – 18th century Turkish carpet from Central Anatolia seen in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul.
Paint, print and stitch on silk were used to interpret.
Emulsion and acrylic paints were used to colour silk which was then printed over with acrylics using a block based on the stylised dragon from the carpet. Printed organzas and chiffons were applied and stitched into.
Firth of Forth 1
This series of work was inspired by the remains of pottery produced on the East coast of Scotland at the Methven and Linktown Potteries in the early 20th century. The spoils were dumped on the beach so they have been washed by the tides for almost 100 years.
I have used layers of painted, crumpled and torn organza and chiffon to give the impression of fragments having been washed up by the tide. Fragments of the original pottery have been incorporated into the pieces of work.
Firth of Forth 2As with Firth of Forth 1 above.
Firth of Forth series was exhibited at the In Stitches Exhibition at the Farnham Maltings in 2006.
An interest in wall paintings in the palace of Knossos in Crete led to this piece of work. Paint and plaster have disintegrated over time leaving a fragmentary surface and I enjoyed the challenge interpreting this.
Collographs were used to print an image on silk noil and organza, then painted newsprint with added stitching was used to build up flakes of colour Embellished fragments were used to emphasise this.
It could be seen as a statement that nothing is permanent or it may just be that I like distressed surfaces.
Minoan Fragments was exhibited at the East Berkshire College at Windsor Exhibition 2011.
I remember the string bag my aunt used for shopping. This is how I would like my own string bag to look, a luxury version to hang on the wall and be admired rather than used.
Silk habotai and mouseline have been torn into strips and knitted with pieces of original sea glass attached.
String Bag was exhibited at the In Stitches group exhibition at Farnham Maltings in 2006.
String Bag - detailEnlarged detail of String Bag shown above.