Hilary Cartmel

Hilary Cartmel (photo above © Neil Pledger) studied Fine Art in Exeter and Nottingham rather a long time ago. She began making large timber figures moving into steel within a few years. She has paid the bills working to commission for public sites and has works sited from Exeter to London to Edinburgh, and has completed about 60 commissions. She has also exhibited studio work since 1980 showing work across the country from Devon to Aberdeenshire, including The Serpentine Gallery, Tate Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Burghley summer Sculpture show and many others. She lives and works on the border of Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire.

The Poisoning 2014 (steel, galvanised steel and stainless steel). This sculpture was commissioned by the Duchess of Northumberland for exhibition in the Poison Garden in Alnwick. The Poison Garden is a walled garden into which you enter through a tall locked gate. A group of visitors is allowed admittance, the gate being locked after their entry, and is given a tour of the plants held there and a description ( which is full of theatre) of what the plants are capable of. The last plant you pass in this small garden is the ivy, you exit through a tunnel of ivy. This is where the figure was sited for three years, and during that time the Ivy was intertwining the structure of the sculpture.. Its job there was to add to the theatre of the plants evil content.

It was a difficult commission for Hilary to undertake as she usually makes work that seeks the light, and where work includes plants they are forces for positivity and growth. It took her far longer to make than it should have, it was certainly a struggle to achieve the simplicity of form which exists here.

For more information, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: