Cover image of the review
Hilary Jackman, *Pears and a Teatowel*, 2021, oil on linen, 86.5 x 86.5cm. Courtesy the artist and Stockroom. Photo: Magali Gentric.

Passages of Light, Interview with Hilary Jackman and George Criddle

4 Sep 2021
Stockroom Kyneton 21 Aug - 3 Oct 2021

Hilary Jackman’s painting practice, which the artist describes as a reflection “on the temporal nature of things and of observation itself”, spans over fifty years. An exhibition of her recent work, Passages of Light, opened on 21 August 2021 at Stockroom Gallery, Kyneton, at eleven o’clock in the morning. Two hours later, regional Victoria entered a snap lockdown. Unable to visit the exhibition in person, I persuaded Jackman together with her fellow studio artist George Criddle to instead submit to an interview. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation.

The conversation ranges across Jackman’s motivations and methods as well as her experiences of living and working in several different artist communities in and around Melbourne.

As Jackman relates, her youthful impressions of the bohemian artistic community in Eltham during the 1950s and ‘60s were formative. She later had a studio at Eltham’s Montsalvat artist commune and it was also in Eltham that she encountered two worldviews that have deeply shaped her practice: environmentalism and the tonalist painting methods of controversial early-twentieth century artist Max Meldrum. Jackman also discusses establishing Round the Bend, an environmental co-operative in the Bend of Islands where she and her partner, artist Jeph Neale, lived for three decades and worked to conserve the surrounding bushland. Jackman and Neale founded the Artery studio co-operative in Northcote in 2001, where they work within a busy community of artists including co-op member, artist, writer and lecturer George Criddle.

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