Hilary Jack works across a wide range of media in research-based projects, site referential artworks, sculptural installations and interventions. Her work has an activist element which comments on the politics of place, socio- political issues and the impact of human activities on our planet.
Her practice has focused on these issues since graduating from Manchester School of Art with an M A Fine Art in 2003. On graduating Hilary was selected for TIPP a collaborative Post Post- Graduate Residential Diploma with Goldsmith College London and The Academy of Fine Art Budapest, Hungary. Hilary has exhibited across the UK and Internationally and her work is in a number of private and public collections including recent acquisitions for The Government Art Collection and Manchester Art Gallery.
No Borders Just Horizons Only Freedom (2019)
The quotation “No borders, just horizons, only freedom“ is borrowed from Amelia Earhart, the American pioneer aviator, feminist icon, and explorer. She was one of only ten women to hold a pilots licence in 1932, and was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Her quote resonates as part of the #MeToo generation of women’s voices and can be read as a statement of intent regarding physical borders, personal boundaries, creative ambitions and freedom of movement.
No Borders is currently on long term exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, as part of OPENAIR, commissioned by YSP curator Sarah Coulson Yorkshire Sculpture Park. A second edition of No Borders has recently been acquired for the collection by Alnoba Sculpture Park, New Hampshire, USA and is due to be installed there in July 2020.
A limited edition print of No Borders has recently been acquired by The Government Art Collection.
The Messenger (2019)
The Messenger is a series of four site-specific works in the landscape, made in response to the politics of place at Borders Sculpture Park. Commissioned by Yorkshire Sculpture Park curator Sarah Coulson. The four artworks are In Memoriam, a 25 metre drawing based on the famous Robert Adam plaster moulding ceiling roses inside the house. In Memoriam also acts a memorial to the 13th Earl, John Baillie, a peer and politician who had an extensive knowledge and interest in crop circles and the paranormal.
Look Out is a tower with a smoking chimney, based on the Peel Towers of The Borders which were used as beacons and to store possessions and livestock during raids by Border Reivers in this area. At the closing party of The Messenger Look Out was set on fire to reference the fate of many Peel Towers under attack throughout the turbulent history of The Borders.
Getting a grip series
Little Britain, Buffer Zones (group show)
Larch lap fencing, astro turf, Hilary Jack 2019, with accompanying video documentation below. Grateful thanks to Salford Councillor for Sport and Culture Stephen Cohen for “opening” the exhibition.
Buffer Zones brings together the works of thirteen critically acclaimed artists in a physical commentary on the geo-political, social economic and cultural impacts of borders. The audience is invited to make a precarious journey though barricades, borders and partitions to experience Buffer Zones at Paradise Works. Conceived during the United Kingdom’s attempts to leave the EU, themes of division, separation of community and physical space take the fore in this immersive exhibition.
Exhibiting Artists: Sally Payen, Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Edward Clydesdale Thomson, Yelena Popova, Hilary Jack, Gavin Wade, Jeremy Hutchison, Simon & Tom Bloor, James Bridle, Marco Godoy, Ella Littwitz.
Packwood Follies are three new outdoor commissions, InsideOutHouse, Embedded and Hive for National Trust Packwood House, Warwickshire funded by Cadburys Foundation and Trust New Art. Commissioned by Lucy Reid Packwood Follies are a contemporary re interpretation of the original Follies built by the last inhabitant of Packwood House Graham Baron Ash which once stood in the grounds. My intention was to highlight the history of Packwood and draw out the specifics of the site and story of Baron Ash’s renovation of the mansion house in the 1900’s.
Produced by Castlefield Gallery ‘Host’ comprises of nine bronze casts of wild plants that typically grow in forgotten urban spaces. Emerging from the fabric of buildings, foyers and pavements across Spinningfields, ‘Host’ highlights the politics of public and private space and represents an unexpected counterpoint to the built environment, using the traditional material of memorial public sculpture.
Installed on the previous site of Olives Paper Mill as part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail, Emergency Meadow is a wild flower meadow grown on a giant sized Victorian industrial handcart reminiscent of those used to wheel industrial materials into Northern mills.
Emergency Meadow references England’s pre industrial rural heritage and the farms and grazing pastures which once populated rural England before the industrial revolution changed the Northern landscape and the global economy forever.
Emergency Meadow is sown solely with white flowers, their colour referencing the thriving paper industry which once stood close by at Olives Paper Mill. Emergency Meadow will evolve throughout the seasons from snowdrops, through to white meadow flowers such as Corn Chamomile, Ox Eye Daisy, Hedge Bedstraw, and Cow Parsley, to seed pods and harvest.
Empty Nest, Flights of Fancy, The Tatton Biennial of Contemporary Art 2012 and Compton Verney, Warwickshire:
Empty Nest is a giant sized Rooks nest built from found wood. It was first commissioned in 2012 by Daniel Arnaud and Jordan Kaplan for Flights of Fancy at The Tatton Biennial of Contemporary Art and was recommissioned in 2013 for the annual programme at Compton Verney, Warwickshire.
Empty Nest explores themes of abandonment, the home, collecting, construction and repair. Empty Nest references the huge scale of historic mansions and estates across the UK while reflecting on the changing fortunes of their inhabitants who over generations, struggled to maintain their properties due to death duties, war and lack of an heir.
The work also considers the countryside folklore that suggests Rooks abandon the colonies they inhabited generationally when an heir to a nearby estate dies childless. Empty Nest at Compton Verney was accompanied by an exhibition of documentation, ephemera and artwork Empty Nest Archive in the mansion house. Empty Nest is available for commission.