Marlene Hilton Moore: Inside My Skin


Marlene Hilton Moore, Inside My Skin_15853. Courtesy of the Artist

Bob Carnie Gallery
16 October 2021 to 24 December 2021
Artist Present 16 October and 23 October 2021, 1 pm – 4 pm

Inside My Skin is a solo exhibition of the eighth in a series of photographs engaged in the narrative of a woman, a place and a dress. Inside My Skin represents a personal world of objects, colour, textiles, flowers and sunlight. It is a feast for the eyes and spirit with an atmosphere both lush and intense.

A woman forms an intimate bond with her place and a visual story emerges. A dress is created for each woman that is a subtle red carpet moment to emphasize the significance of this unique mise-en-scène. The premise of quotidian reality becomes a dance of authenticity, expanded by vision and supported by the exotic beauty in the commonplace. Images are at times shot for the sheer tumble of beauty in them as beauty is the underscore.

As the artist I want the audience to ‘wonder’ – who is this woman, what is this place that touches her life. I want the audience to notice the detail of the face, body language, dress, and physical space, and to sense the aura of the image with the play of the shared components of vision and reality.

Inside My Skin is autobiographical. These photographs represent ‘me’ inside the culture of ‘me’, shaped by the ancestral and geographical culture that formed my life. This was an east coast rural existence of home and family, of economy, saving scraps, handmade objects, the fiddle, tea day and night, and old flower gardens. This was later intermingled with the culture of the art world, represented in these photographs by the Louise Bourgeois Book of Cells, Klunder and McCarthy paintings on the wall and my maquettes on the table.

The mannequin stands in for me and I created for her a lavishly embroidered dress in the style of a crazy quilt. The dress was pieced from scraps and embroidered with traditional embroidery motifs, personal symbols, and the name, date and place of birth of eighteen women in my life from great grandmothers to granddaughters. The place is my living room, aptly named for I truly live in this room. My old studio chair, patched together, was added to the room upon which I lovingly placed the fiddle that was cast in bronze.


Marlene Hilton Moore, Dress_Chair_Fiddle_15652. Courtesy of the Artist

The woman, place and dress of the previous series of photographs conceptually link with Inside my Skin.

peonia_beauty: a dress sewn with fifty black taffeta peonies; a musing young woman walks barefoot through the deteriorating architecture of an old farm homestead.

She in the Forest: a dress of burnt gold velvet with royal purple collar; a sensuous primal woman exudes the essence of fable as she moves within the forest as her space.

Sister to Botticelli: a contemporary tapestry dress accentuated by red shoes and sultry red lipstick; a contemplative young woman passionate about design wanders through the eclectic interior of an artist’s home and studio.

Botticelli Runner: a long pink velvet dress; a young woman who is a Botticelli vision with pale blue eyes and golden red hair races the geometric hard-edge track upon which she trains for her long distance running.

Ancestral: a vintage style silk dress of the 60’s era; a woman born in this time visits the place of her heritage, the lunar rocks on the edge of the Baie de Chaleur and the family homestead.

Cathedral: a molten silver lamé evening gown; an elderly woman returns from the city to her rural roots and walks on the hay-spilled floor of the family barn, through which the sunlight filters to create a luminescent environment – a cathedral.

Pixie’s World: a thrift shop prom dress upon which is embroidered Sugar Free and Fuck; an art student infiltrates herself and her chaotic bachelor apartment with tattoos, piercings, caution tape, and her artwork.

Inside My Skin and the other series of photographs visually weave together encoded cultural messages that allude to personal social histories and elaborate the identities of the individual women.

Marlene Hilton Moore’s artwork engages the identity of the female in today’s society through sculpture, audiovisual installations, and photography. Her extensive schedule of solo and group exhibitions includes galleries in Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast.

Marlene has also been a recipient of many Public Art Commissions over the last twenty years. Her distinctive profile in Canadian visual arts is marked by outstanding achievements at local and national levels, particularly in the complex arena of Public Art and Monuments.

Marlene retired from her professorship at the School of Design and Visual Arts, Georgian College following a distinguished 25-year teaching career.

Bob Carnie Gallery
1681 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, M6K 1V2

Marlene Hilton Moore
Instagram: @marlenehiltonmoore
Facebook: /marlene.hiltonmoore