born in Knysna in 1955
Hilary Iwański studied Medical Technology and worked in the field of Chemical Pathology before starting a career in painting in 1982.
In the mid 1980’s she learnt watercolour techniques with Derric van Rensburg, before teaching this medium between 1985 and 1989. In 1990 her passion for drawing from life led her to join the Ruth Prowse School of Art to study pastel and oil painting under the directorship of Ryno Swart. She joined the Artists’ Co-Operative in 1992 to continue her studies with Ryno Swart. In 1995 she returned to the Ruth Prowse to learn sculpture under the direction of Maureen Langley. Hilary broke her art studies to complete a B A degree in Psychology and English before starting to paint again in early 2000. To pursue her passion for painting from life, she returned to the Artists’ Co-Operative and has helped run the Life Drawing and Painting sessions for the past five years. Privately she decided to concentrate on oil painting and has built up a body of work in this medium.
As an established figurative artist, Hilary has participated in many joint exhibitions, worked on commissions and exhibited in various galleries as well as selling work privately. Some of her paintings hang in private homes in the USA, England Poland and Australia.
"My first passion is art, my second, opera. I draw inspiration for my work from my models, the music I listen to while I paint, - Mozart above all. I am inspired by my surroundings, especially the forests of Newlands forest where I walk most days. I struggle to depict all of this in the best way possible.
I paint for the love of it. I paint because I am fascinated by nature in general and the human form in particular. The shapes of the figure, the face, the mood are irresistible to me. To capture them, put them down on paper or canvas is a continual challenge. I see colour in everything, from letters, to texts to names and days of the week. It is difficult for me to temper this tendency when it comes to depicting everything I see before me.
The work I have completed in the last few years represents these challenges. With the odd break to paint flowers or the Newlands forest, I have concentrated on painting from life. I have painted a number of different models over a period of months or, in some cases years, attempting to capture their changing physical and emotional states. More recently I have tried to combine my love of music and opera with my art using singers as models. In short I am exploring the many possibilities that exist in figure painting. To quote T.S Eliot: ‘We never cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And to know the place for the first time’." - Hilary Iwanski Hilary