Hilary Doyle lives and works in New York, USA and graduated with honours from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. The artist has said, “Focusing on the conditions in which people live helps us examine the rituals, psychology and emotions of daily life.”
I was inspired by my grandmother who was a hobby painter and by classes I took at a local art museum as a child. Sometimes I think a vocation like making art chooses you. I am first inspired by observations while walking or traveling and make sketches on walks and trips to work from. I am researching ancient matriarchal societies and mythologies surrounding powerful women. I see medusa from greek mythology for example as a metaphor for society’s curse on women to juggle so many roles and expectations at once.
I see fruit as symbolic in many ways as a reference to the story of adam and eve, and a fresh start after a bitter pandemic. I have been collecting objects and cloths with fruit patterns on them to paint from. I want to present archetypes of strong women - characters that question societal gender roles. I see Grandma Walking at Dawn as a painting about triumph and perseverance. Sophie Menade who is a character in some of the paintings is a wise storyteller from Monique Whittig’s French feminist 1969 novel “Les Guérillères”. As in the paintings she recombines symbols and mythological stories in new ways to tell a new story of a matriarchal society.
I am really excited to have my work on view in Shanghai alongside so many great artists in a space run and curated by a creative woman gallerist. I visited Shanghai 3 years ago and found it to be inspirational: as a place that is at once futuristic feeling (imagining the future is the first step to imagining a better future) and full of wonderful contemporary art in museums and galleries. I remember a building sign that read “Dream Big you are in Shanghai” and love the idea that it’s a place where dreams become a reality.