artist spotlight
HIllary Heckard

share your creative practice:
in conversation with Hillary Heckard

What does it mean to you to join the North Lands Creative network and be part of building a community for glass?


Joining the North Lands Creative network is a great opportunity to connect with the larger international art community that share a similar passion for art and glass. 


Tell us about your work. What influences translate into your art practice?


My work is comprised of sculptures and Installation art that investigate the body as a changing vessel for our consciousness through collective engagement and interaction. The art that I create is influenced by my own experiences, and through my continual study of ancient philosophies, history and culture in relation to the contemporary human condition. 


Has this changed the way you approach your work?


Yes, my research into Tibetan Buddhism has allowed me to view my art making practice more as a form of meditation. Working with a mixed media approach has helped me understand the meaning behind the notion of impermanence.


What initially captured your imagination about glass?


Glass is fascinating, because of its ability to move in many different ways. I have also found that glass is a great teacher for understanding important life lessons.  I think the fact that glass can be an extension of myself and that the medium itself can retain memory is amazing because it offers infinite possibilities. 


What’s the significance of the handmade to you?


Handmade to me means that the artwork is produced physically by the artist and retains a piece of the person that made it. Their mark is imprinted in the sculpture or form through their interaction and intention.


What was your route to becoming an artist?


Lot’s of Hard work, determination, self-discipline and resilience. I started working when I was 13 and really haven’t stopped since. I worked through school, with many different jobs to support myself and my art practice.  It was through those experiences and my great group of friends and family that continued to challenge push, and believe in me, that has allowed me to get to where I am today. 


What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?


My chosen medium at this point I would say is more of a mixed media approach. I have started to apply different mediums such as video, photography, light, metal, wood, and glass into my sculpture and installation work. As far as my preferred techniques specifically relating to glass; I really enjoy hot-sculpting, neon, casting, and kiln-forming.


How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass?


I would describe my work as interactive in the sense that it is meant to challenge the viewer’s perspective. The viewer becomes part of the work through an active role of engagement. 


Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?


My process begins with research, asking questions and experimentation. After I have developed my idea with some prototypes, I ask my collaborative partners to come work with me if I have a large project that needs to be made in a hot shop. I enjoy working alone and in team environments surrounded with like-minded people that are supportive.  


Who do you look up to when it comes to aesthetics?


I look to nature and architecture for aesthetics. Old, abandoned buildings, and façades. I also really like Ricardo Bofill’s architectural style with his use of geometry.


What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?


Currently, I am inspired by Italian Art and Culture and gardening. Some of the artists I look up to are:  Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Jaroslava Brychtova & Stanislav Libensky, Hilma AF Klint, Dan Flavin, and James Turrell.


How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic in your country? To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in lockdown?


The pandemic has been difficult because of the amount of loss it has caused for me and a large majority of the world. I have adapted to the situation by living more in the moment and taking the time to continue my research in learning a new language and history and working from home.

Hillary Heckard

Hillary Heckard originally from northern California, is a mixed media artist and educator. She has exhibited internationally, and holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Fine Art, and Sculpture Dimensional Studies.