Wait, wait. Let's begin again.
Hilary Scott has a Ph.D. in international law. He is the recipient of many postgraduate fellowships in public diplomacy and counter-intelligence, and has lectured widely on European political history.
Boy, don't like the sound of that.
Hilary's Other Story
I did not train to be a sculptor. I did not go to art school. Until I had children, I was perfectly happy teaching classes in classical political theory at Tufts University. I started making things to please my daughter. Hannah wasn’t interested in the dramatic changes overtaking Europe in 1648, but she was interested in whether I could make a magic boat for her Barbie, or a castle on a mountain top where that diminutive princess could entertain guests. After this, Hannah began to pose more difficult problems: Could her bed be a tropical island, with fish and waves? Could I make a mechanical knight that would actually fight her younger brother Gabriel? A child is both the harshest taskmaster, and the greatest audience. Moreover, as I began to explore this realm that my children had ushered me into, the more stolid, academic world of Kant and Locke began to loose its color. I inflicted these explorations in art, however, only on my family, in my own home. That is, until six years ago and the first Somerville Open Studios. After that, things just got out of hand. Two years ago I decided to give up teaching, and pursue this other journey full time.
My work up to now has been described as whimsical, or at least having an element of the absurd. This derives, I think, from my situation when I started exploring sculpture. My field of research had always centered on classic balance of power politics, whether in the late 19th century, or during the Cold War and its aftermath. The very topic, and the accompanying methodology provided all the angst any young adult could want. When I began delving into art, I wasn’t moved by dark inner demons, or stoic alienation, but rather from a sense of wonder and even glee at having toddlers underfoot. Once one has delivered a lecture on thermonuclear strategic thinking while carrying a baby in a sling, it is hard to look at the topic seriously again.
If my initial inspiration was the chaos that children bring with them, then my craft has developed because of the variety of mediums I have been commissioned to work in: Painting, Wire, Wood, Polystyrene Foam, Stained Glass, Paper Mache, Mosaic, Plexi Glass, Bronze, Copper and Aluminum. Each of these materials presents its own challenges, and that struggle often leads me to new inspiration, long after the original commission is gone. When not commissioned for a specific work, I tend to wander around inside my own head, but, in truth, I often feel an almost supernatural aversion to looking too directly at my own creative impulse. This oblique approach, not looking to fully at an idea, often results in my not wholly knowing why I embarked on a particular project.
I began making things to amuse my children. I continued with the work to amuse myself. Have I noticed any change in that work as my children slowly leave aspects of childhood behind? My daughter in now eleven, and her Barbie doesn’t sail off on her boat quite as often. Her concerns now revolve around school work and social ties, and I find I am moved to explore issues of identity and assimilation. So I suppose my work is changing. Yet, as soon as I become too somber, I turn to my son, whose GI Joes have taken over that afore mentioned boat, and whose adventures often end up looking like the last scene from Hamlet.
©2003-2005 Hilary S.L. Scott