I am a Cambridge-based, socially engaged, participatory artist – passionate about using creativity, culture, stories and collaboration to connect, strengthen and shape communities. Social cohesion is at the very heart of my practice. I work with many groups across the city and have a true commitment to equality, diversity, social inclusion, the environment and place-making through the arts. The Chair of Cambridge United once introduced me as ‘community glue’ -  I bring communities together.

My practice creates and develops a sense of place and identity, builds relationships and vision, connects to the wider community and empowers residents to bring about long term sustainable and positive change.

My practice is inclusive and responsive – using visual art, performance, installations, photography, exhibitions, events and film to engage, develop and share ideas and stories.. I work as a graphic designer, multi media and visual artist - having studied graphic design and illustration, I initially worked in media and PR studios, set up my design company, and now work collaboratively to produce artwork. My passion for social equality led to developing my community and participatory arts practice, and I draw on my skill and experience to both engage and share through my practice - writing, designing, devising and producing display boards, films, books and brochures, installations, exhibitions and hoardings, liaising, collaborating and working within a time-frame and budget. Creating both temporary experiences as well as a legacy through my practice as a visual artist. 

My many years of collaborative working, artistic practice and social-butterflying means I have a wealth of well established connections throughout Cambridgeshire, bringing a warm heart, listening ears and the  fun of artistic endeavour to often excluded or overlooked groups, volunteers, councils, museums, schools, community groups and cultural venues, acting with care, consideration and creativity to help shape the places in which we live.

This short film demonstrates how I use my practice to engage with a wide range of communities.

Why arts and culture is important... my ethos as an educator.

"Art cannot change events. But it can change people. It can affect people so that they are changed... because people are changed by art – enriched, ennobled, encouraged – they then act in a way that may affect the course of events... by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.”

― Leonard Bernstein

Email Hilary at mshilaryc@gmail.com

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