Photo: Gwendolyn Shabka

 Photo: Gwendolyn Shabka

Hillary Younglove

Painter, Puppet Maker, Arts Educator

Hillary Younglove explores modern aesthetics that incorporate techniques and narrative elements based on the human figure. Most recently she has started to deconstruct the figure and work in a more intuitive, abstract manner layering over old work to create new pieces, much like an ancient wall that gets re-plastered and re-finished year after year. The history of past work is embedded in the new and often shows through the many layers.

In the last two decades, Hillary has been studying and experimenting with techniques used by ancient cultures: encaustic, mosaic and fresco. Through these explorations, ancient techniques are anchoring modern sensibilities into a body of work where layering, texture and color dominate. The tactile nature of the artwork relies on a physical and labor intensive effort that helps to materialize the emotions through a natural and organic process.

On this site there are pieces from two series: Traces and Deconstructing K.

Many of the portraits you see are from a series called, Traces. Once powerful rulers and thinkers have often been erased from history through the destruction of representations of them in artwork, and text. In ancient Rome this was called, Damnatio Memoriae, (damnation of memory). Sculpted portraits of leaders were systematically obliterated.

In the summer of 2010, while studying ancient art and archeology in Rome, a eulogy on a tombstone at the Epigraphic Museum spoke to Hillary - a rare portrait of a woman, Allia Potestas. This Latin eulogy describes a common woman in loving terms, a rather unusual fact in public documents. She was a former slave and weaver, a woman who lived with two men, her lovers, one of whom commissioned the tombstone. As Hillary heard the text translated, an image started to form in her mind, the impetus for many of the portraits she paints today.

The titles for some of these works are the names of women considered too educated, and outspoken for the time and place they lived. Some became martyrs. Some names have been lost in the annals of history. Some of these women are still fighting to express themselves today.

The impetus for the Deconstructing K series comes from tearing up a book of the artist, Anselm Kiefer’s, work as a point of departure.

In addition to painting, Hillary is the founder of Trompin’ Manikins, a puppet making laboratory.

Younglove is self-represented.  Inquire about commissions or to purchase art on this site.