ALISON HILDRETH High Street Gallery

ALISON HILDRETH Congress Street Gallery

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Making art is my journal, a record of what compels and absorbs me. It is a method of questioning, investigating and discovering. The moment when things come into focus, as through daily experience or ideas or emotions, these things enter a tunnel and coalesce into made objects. In the process of creating I feel most alive in myself in a conscious way. Virginia Wolfe called this experience "Moments of Being," when words start to come together in her writing, "that behind the cotton wool is a pattern; that we--I mean all human beings--are connected with this..."

The theme of connectedness, an imprint we carry from generation to generation, also holds within it fears of disconnection, remarked upon by many current writers and poets, i.e., Octavio Paz: "The path the ancients cleared has closed."; Margaret Atwood: "The soft, dark languages are being silenced." The language that is eating the others is now our new digital voice. These concerns and cross currents are reflected in my work. I use many images as metaphors, some of which are vessels or containers which are wrapped, confined, at times overflowing with fluids that spill out.

Excerpted Maine Sunday Telegram review by Philip Isaacson


Alison Hildreth's "Forthrights and Meanders" at June Fitzpatrick MECA provokes a search for the artist's inner thoughts. This is not unusual for work shown at that gallery.

"Provoke" is the right word. There is always a narrative behind Hildreth's work; there's a story that one feels he should be able to identify and could do so if only one had read more deeply, thought more deeply or somehow was more sensitive. One senses that there are literary allusions in the ink-and-wash drawings in this show and, indeed, I have been told that its title is borrowed from "The Tempest."

The work has an ephemeral quality, as though the artist did not intend it to have a long life. It suggests itself as notations or thoughts committed to long sheets of fragile Japanese paper that are offered as elemental guides for our own journeys and once understood could be discarded.

If asked to, I could find old fortifications, the routes of rivers and excavated cities in my meanderings among the drawings. I could also find reports on astronomy, botany and creatures that exist in the sea. I suspect, however, that Hildreth expects more of me.

Alison Hildreth resume

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