Selective Memory
Moray Hillary

Hampden Gallery
Main Gallery Exhibition: September 15 - December 1, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, September 15, 2023,  5-7 p.m.
Artist Talk: Friday, September 15, 2023,  6- 6:30 p.m.



Together with painting on canvas, there remains a large variety of shifting, stylistic strategies that can underwrite and scaffold any critical engagement with conceptual ideas.

For instance, practically it is possible to produce painting that finds its' starting point with everyday objects and material that are modified through paint. Ordinary materials such as fabric, vinyl, plastic and mirrors can be condensed into dynamic objects and installations that can push the limits of perception. Items found or made, which reflect our culture in simple ways can be changed, their context altered and mutated. Painterly interventions, while experimental in parts can be implemented decisively, with certitude, changing levels of meaning without arbitrariness.


“Selective Memory”

The exhibit “Selective Memory” transform the white walled gallery into an immersive environment and travelogue. It forms a complex installation that consists of a large series of miniature paintings upon vintage car wing mirrors. The mirrors  are fitted to the walls at various heights and angles throughout the space, creating a constellation of intricate imagery. In total there are around 225 mirrors arranged in clusters. Each painting depicts detailed observations, or artificial reflections. Within the surface of the mirror there is left, an unpainted section that allows the viewer to see themself reflected and integrated into the picture.

Each image painted is a piece of evidence pertaining to a personal and often specific narrative; a private souvenir and insistent “reflection” on the condition of mortality. There is an affection for the overlooked and forgotten things that can often trigger a specific and visceral memory. Collectively, the exhibit describes how sometimes there is a hidden power in the simplest of objects.

Some of the mirrors reflect a distant scene, fragments of cityscapes, quiet pathways and undefined spaces. Many of the objects are indeed in a state of transformation - some are broken, worn, used or discarded; others transform and grow, yet they are all painted with the same level of care and reverence. While the mirrors, due to their scale encourage the viewer to move in and peer closely; from afar they create a collective unit of colorful imagery activating the space creating an almost silent dialogue.



Moray Hillary is a multimedia Scottish artist whose work engages with a variety of social, political and current issues. Often referring to personal history, his work explores varying relationships between culture and politics. The starting point that connects his working practise are notions of fragility, or the ephemeral. From this simple guiding principle the work reconfigures elements from the past. The need to examine the past, personal or otherwise- to make sense of the present is strong, if not innate. Still it is important to know that hindsight is not always 20/20. Personal histories are often written from perspectives deeply affected by the passing of time; tainted by political or cultural agendas - leaving us with what is at best a partial record of what actually happened. 

Moray Hillary has been widely exhibited internationally and in the United States. He has recently shown at Galerie Protege in NYC and with Buro Adalbert, Kunstquartier, Bethanien, Berlin.