Decades                                                            Hilary Holt  Entering my 7th decade I have explored my personal history through the years, looking back at the fragmented memories of my life.  I climbed into the attic and confronted the debris of the past decades.

Old photographs, long forgotten boxes of junk that should have been discarded, and in my mind searched for memories that now are only fleeting glimpses of the past.

Scraps of fabric symbolise the threads of the past, retrospectively patch worked together...trying to escape nostalgia, consolidating each decade, and mapping out the forgotten ... memories come back like broken shards, seen from who and where I am now ... we cannot escape our shadows.


A  newspaper kept by my grandfather with my birth announcement

... a portrait painted by my mother in 1952...

my first painting overall at nursery school...

contact sheet of photographs with my mother




Looking back into my teenage mind through diaries ... the irrelevant minutia of teenage life ... exam papers … knowledge long forgotten 

My first batik, the beginnings of a lifelong engagement with art and textiles.

Alongside all of this … a passion for pop stars and travels to Africa and later America



A portrait taken through a silk screen at art college ... my wedding dress which I designed and printed ... bridesmaids fabric ... contact sheets of photographs of our wedding 



Focusing on creating a home which has not really changed over the decades which have followed ... a photo taken by one of my photography students ... my childhood dolls house which I renovated for my children ... a drawing of a patchwork quilt I had made in the previous decade.



Teaching art, photography and  textiles in a university ... studying embroidery ... working towards my Masters degree, creating digital textile banners.



Where am I now?

Trying to stay in the present moment ... back in England but spending time in Portugal ... watching my six grandchildren grow and flourish ... an Instagram project taking one photo each day



A decade which started with sadness ... the loss of my mother ... then redundancy and losing my job ... uncertainty and then by chance finding a new job teaching art in Portugal and living there for 10 years.