Thursday, February 12, 2009


Glove, "Meeting Point" at Axel lapp Projects, Berlin
I work across media in socially interactive research based projects,which often take place in the public domain and involve the collection, "repair" and redistribution of discarded material found on city streets, in charity shops and on ebay.
I am currently showing with Carter Presents in London at Leroy House with Dallas Seitz, Sarah Baker and others.
To see recent exhibitions and projects scroll down. For past work, exhibitions, press and commissioned texts click on the headings on the right. Alternatively visit
For the past five years I have also had a collaborative curatorial practice with Paul Harfleet, together curating an annual programme at Apartment an exhibiton space in Pauls one bedroom council flat in Manchester.
I have also contributed articles to a number of magazines, most recently "Time for Change" for Axis .

Friday, May 09, 2008

Open Studios

Rogue Open Studios 2008
17th, 18th May,11-4
preview 16th May 6-9
The repair and transformation of broken objects found on ebay and in charity shops is a strong element within my practice. For some time I've been collecting broken figurines and "repairing" them, exaggerating the breaks, thereby distorting the figures and coupling them with seemingly opposing elements. Below and above are examples of this new work shown for the first time at this year's Open Studios at Rogue.
above:Running Woman with no Hand Trips on a Heap of Shit and Hangs Herself, (Royal Doulton Figurine and studio detritus)above: Beheaded Girl in a Red Dress takes a Long Look at Herself
below: Wandering Woman in a Landscape, Lladro figurine with tree roots and mirrorabove: "Broken Chair, Repair" Edwardian palour chair with broken leg and lead piping

Friday, September 28, 2007

Make do and Mend, Conflux06, New York

This September I was selected to take part in Conflux 06 in Williamsberg New York, the annual festival for contemporary psycho geography. To find out more read on, or click on the link here or the logo below to discover more about the festival, my project and the other artists involved.
When I arrived in Williamsberg I began to explore the area surrounding the McCaig W
elles Gallery, taking photos and looking for objects I could work with for Make do and Mend. Some of the images I took can be seen at my blog Nearly Nothing. One of the first things I discovered amongst the almost overwhelming array of discarded objects left on the streets was a silver ring. It had been lost, crushed underfoot, then presumabley found by a passer by and placed on a bollard on Bedford Avenue. I photographed it, cleaned it with silver polish and took it to neighbouring jewellers where I had it repaired, and engraved with the words "repaired by Hilary Jack". The repaired silver ring became part of an installation of other objects I had found and rejuvenated in some way. All the objects were eventually replaced where I had found them on a walking tour with friends, artists and visitors to Conflux.
The other objects I worked with were two pairs of trousers, a man's pair and a woman's pair. These were photographed and taken to a professional dry cleaners. Later in the week I collected and returned the clothes close to where I had found them.
During Conflux it rained for two days. The streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn
were littered with discarded, broken, black, umbrellas; the kind you can buy in a 99 cents store. I collected several and repaired as many as I could, returning them to their original location when I had done so.
Click on the logo to follow the link to the Conflux and Glowlab website.....

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tap, CUBE, Manchester

For The World is My Imagination, curated by Andrea Zapp at CUBE, nine artists and collectives are exploring the model and the miniscule as an artistic interface in video, networked and interactive installations, digital sound sculptures, photography, found objects and custom built environments.

For The World Is My Imagination, Hilary Jack has been commissioned to make a new installation. The work, entitled Tap, involves harvesting clean drinking water from an existing dripping tap (in the Ladies Toilet) which is be redirected into a reservoir and used to nourish an indoor plant. The plant in turn acts as host, feeding a myriad of miniature self propagated baby plants to which it is umbilically connected. Placed on a nest of domestic tables in the gallery the installation acts as a model and metaphor for domestic mains water systems and their satellite networks - networks currently under threat from various environmental and man made disasters such as flood, drought, sabotage and terrorist attack. The work hints at our fragility once those networks are threatened while highlighting our waste of and dependence on, one of our most precious natural resources - clean water.A clear plastic hose is connected to the dripping tap. The drip is forced by water pressure through the clear hose piping, which is fed through a hole drilled in the wall of the Ladies loo and into the gallery space. The hose is supported by a series of tree branches which lead it through the gallery and down to the rest of the installation in the basement.
The water drips from the clear hose into a garden water butt where it is then pumped out via a watering system to water the spider plant. The water overflows the plant, dripping into three saucers, arranged in steps in the manner of an indoor fountain, and then into an orange bucket. From here it is pumped out of the bucket, every hour during gallery opening hours and into a watering can. The water collected in the watering can is eventually used to water other plants in the gallery and in the rest of the building.

Participating Artists for this exhibiton are: Nick Hardy, UK, h.o Media Group, Japan, Hilary Jack, UK, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, USA, Markus Kison, Germany, Amanda Oliphant, UK, Mark Pilkington, UK, Joel Porter, UK, Andrea Zapp, Germany/UK
7th September – 3rd November 2007
Opening Times: 12.00pm – 5.30pm Monday – Saturday
Preview: Thursday 6th September 6.00pm-9.00pm
Sponsors: ACE North West, Manchester Metropolitan University, Ars Electronica Center Linz, Austra, Astra Signs
For more info contact CUBE on 0161 237 5525 or at

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Maxply, Transition Gallery, London

Found Maxply tennis racquet, Broadway Market, London
The "Maxply" tennis raquet, the famous classic, wooden framed and made for fifty years of champions by Dunlop between 1933 and 1983. Rod Laver won the grandslam using a Maxply and the last one manufactured was the MacEnroe Maxply in 1983 at the end of wood raquet era. "Buy one to play with and one to hang on your wall as a work of art" reads the Dunlop slogan. This Maxply leans cassually against a graffittied wall behind Broadway Market in Hackney. Abandoned, and broken.

For E8; The Heart of Hackney at Transtion Gallery, a group show, selected by Cathy Lomax, I photographed this broken tennis racket, pictured above, and took it home to Manchester. Using Seventies "Pin and Thread" technique to "re-string".

While Hackney borough council focuses its energies on newly established recycling methods and doorstep refuse collection, my action refers back to times when our energies were more focused on repair and reuse rather than recycling and waste.

"Maxply" Found and repaired Maxply tennis racquet at Transition Gallery. click image to enlarge.

E8; The Heart of Hackney opens on June 15th-July 15th and is accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Ian Sinclair and Dr Amanda Ravetz. Click here to read The In Betweenness of Things by Amanda Ravetz.
The exhibition includes work by Emily Cole . Gary O'Connor . walkwalkwalk . Laura Oldfield-Ford . Tom Hunter . Barbaresi & Round . Matthew Stock. For more information about related events, press, and opening hours
please follow this link to
"Maxply", Installation shot at Transition Gallery, London

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Glove, Axel Lapp Projects, Berlin

"Glove", c print of a single glove found on waste land at the site of the Berlin Wall, Bernauer Strasse.
Meeting Point at Axel Lapp Projects, Berlin
For ‘Meeting Point’ I use
Axel Lapp Projects as studio, workplace and exhibition space to focus on themes of loss and separation. Throughout the duration of the exhibition I am creating a new partner for a single, lost, black glove, found and photographed, on waste land at the site of the Berlin Wall, at Bernauer Strasse, on a previous research trip to Berlin. When finished the glove will be returned with its partner back to the wire on Bernauer Strasse. The work is part of a group show curated by Apartment at the invitation of Axel Lapp for his programme "Interludes" which showcases artist led activity from outside Berlin. Follow the links above for more information about the spaces and artists involved .

Above: "Glove", the pair of gloves returned to the wire fence as part of Meeting Point at Axel Lapp Projects, Berlin.

Car, Extreme Crafts, CAC, Lithuania

"Extreme Crafts" at CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania selected by curators Jennie Syson and Catherine Hemelryk, explores how handicrafts and customization are increasingly being used by contemporary artists as a source of inspiration and method of manufacture. The artists selected include a wide range of international artists working across media including Juneau Projects, Catherine Bertola, Knit Knit, and Via Vaudeville.
For Extreme Crafts the curators have selected an object (shown above) that they found in the street for me to augment. They have exhibited a photograph of it in the gallery packaged it and sent it to me in Berlin where I'm currently working. When it arrives I will "repair" and customise it in some way and then return it to them to exhibit in the gallery along with its packaging and the documentation of its transformation. The Yellow car arrived a few days ago. Its now back on the road after having been given a car wash, a respray, its broken door is fixed, a new windscreen has been fitted, it has new tyres, and Ive added a turbo charged exhaust system recycled from a broken toy car. Ive packaged it up in acid free tissue paper with handling gloves and its now on its way back to CAC in Lithuania via registered post, where the curator of Extreme Crafts will place it in the gallery with the images Ive sent showing its transformation. ........The car eventually arrived in Lithuania just before the closing of Extreme Crafts and was returned to its original location by the curator Catherine Hemelryk.
More images of this work and the show at CAC can be accessed by clicking on this link.. flickr

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sex and Witchcraft, Transition Gallery, London

Above: Detail of "Beheaded Girl in a Red Dress takes a Long Hard Look at Herself", found broken Royal Doulton Figurine, tree branch and table, Hilary Jack 2008

Sex and Witchcraft at Transition Gallery, London
Preview February 14th 6pm

Lisa Penny, Hilary Jack, Anne Marie Kennedy, Beata Veszely, Susan Taylor, Rachel Tweddell and Kate Street
Working across media, often incorporating the use of found materials and table top techniques the artists engage in a disturbing alchemy. Dabbling in the chemistry of a first sighting and the magical fusion of opposing elements the artists reveal a dark underbelly to the world of love and flowers, white horses and watercolours. The exhibition is accompanied by a commissioned essay by Gary Lachman, the author of a number of books exploring links between occultism and modern culture.

Images from the Show

Above: Beheaded Girl takes a Long Look at Herself by Hilary Jack


February 18, 2008
'Sex and Witchcraft' Exhibition
Transition Gallery • 15th February – 9th March 2008
Who doesn't want to believe in magic? Whether we can suspend our disbelief or not, I'm certain that a little bit of enchantment in our lives wouldn't go amiss. The seven female artists in 'Sex and Witchcraft' (Hilary Jack, Anne Marie Kennedy, Rachel Tweddell, Lisa Penny, Kate Street, Susan Taylor, Beata Veszely) explore the ideas of the occult in very different ways; resulting in works that range from the exuberant to the quietly melancholic.
An essay by Gary Lachman, an author interested in links between the occult and modern culture, contextualises the work nicely. I’m one of those exhibition-goers who laps up any kind of socio-historic background to work, particularly when the essay in question gives such valuable tit-bits such as that sleeping with the devil is akin to being with ‘a stallion among mares’. Although there is undoubtedly an undercurrent of sexuality to some of the work, I saw the exhibition more in terms of ‘sex’ as a celebration of the feminine.
Highlights included Kate Street’s ‘Orchis’, a drawing of slow, considered beauty. The work seemed somewhere between a memento mori and a botanical catalogue image, fusing delicate petals with skull-like imagery. According to the ancient Greeks, orchids sprang from the spilt semen of mating animals; this rather earthy belief contrasts with the delicacy of the work.
Beata Veszely’s video piece ‘On the Way to Heaven’ also seemed to comment on the inherent beauty in nature; it celebrated in a dream-like way the power and movement of a white horse. The interaction between nature and the artist was a recurring idea in the exhibition, fittingly so since so much of our ideas of witchcraft are tied up with Wiccan beliefs of nature-supreme. The icon of the white horse is unavoidably linked with the unicorn, well at least in my child-like mind it is…and this is why this exhibition is so enjoyable: work that explores ideas of witchcraft persuades us to be as imaginative and as open to ideas of magic as we were when we were children.
Written by Beth Richards Posted on February 18, 2008 12:36 PM