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Woolnough, Hilda; Liquado 2

Artist: Hilda Woolnough
Title: Liquado 2
Medium: Crayon on Paper
Size: 67 X 82 cm

Acquisition Date:  1982
Current Location: 1st Floor, Coles Building, Legislative Clerk Research Office



Hilda Woolnough has left her mark on Island art like no other. During her 30 years on the Island, Woolnough has been a teacher and tireless champion of artist's rights and opportunities, serving on the boards of many professional provincial and federal arts organizations. She was a driving force behind The Phoenix Gallery, The Gallery-On-Demand, the Great George Street Gallery, The Arts Guild, the Printmakers Council and the Student Art Expo.

Woolnough has pursued her own work with equal vigour, constantly exploring new media. Her passion is for expressive line in drawing and printmaking but she has also created jewellery, weavings, and quilts. Hilda Woolnough was born into a creative family in Northampton, England. Her mother, uncle, and brother were all painters; her father built and restored houses. In 1952 she began traditional training at the Chelsea School of Art in London, drawing from plaster casts and still life, developing strong discipline and technique. It was here that she first experimented with printmaking, a medium she has passionately pursued throughout her career. But it was with a specialty in painting that she graduated in 1955. Woolnough immigrated to Canada in 1957, settling in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1965 she headed to the San Miguel de Allende Instituto in Mexico, where she studied experimental etching for two years, graduating with a Master's of Fine Art degree in graphics. Back in London, she did post-graduate work at the Central School of Art and Design in metal techniques. After designing the etching and lithography departments at the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston, Jamaica, Woolnough found her way to PEI. Together with her husband, UPEI professor, writer and publisher, Reshard Gool, she formed part of the nucleus for a vibrant arts community.

In 1999 Hilda Woolnough received the Adrien Arsenault Senior Arts Award for "contribution to the arts in Prince Edward Island" and was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy. Her work is in many public and private collections including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Canada Council Art Bank.

Woolnough most often works in series, exploring an idea fully, guided by both intellect and intuition. Nature and the human form provide a starting point, but she moves beyond the representational to a deeper, more universal expression.

"I'm interested in evolution of plants, land, the world," Woolnough once said in a interview. "There are stages in the growth of the brain that are reptilian or flower-like. They're proof that we are all the sum of our parts, like the land or sea." This interest in evolution embraces the development of myth and human culture and the process of transformation, themes she has explored throughout her career.

"What is most important to me as an artist are 'accidents and mistakes' If I don't make them technically and intellectually on a regular basis I don't feel I'm going anywhere. I have lived on Prince Edward Island for about thirty three years, but I have travelled, taught, and done my own work all over the world; and been fortunate enough to have my work in many collections and exhibitions in Canada and abroad, including the Canadian Pavillion in the Spanish Biennial in Seville."

Hilda Woolnough passed away in December 2007.


Recent Accomplishments:


  • 2001 June - October TIMEPIECE, a collagraph installation , Confederation Centre of the Arts, PEI sponsored by Canada Council, Ottawa, and the Royal Bank Investment Group
  • 1999, Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy./02 Elected to the board of the RCA
  • 1999, Adrien Arsenault Senior Arts Award Major Provincial Award honouring individual "contribution to the arts in Prince Edward Island."
  • 1999 -04, Fishtales - a marine mythology, Salt Spring Island, B.C. Gallery built especially to house this permanent exhibition, originally curated by Joan Murray,Robert MacLaughlin Gallery .Oshawa; Ontario

Collections (Public)

  • Air Canada, Montreal, Quebec
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
  • Art Gallery of Jamaica
  • Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S.
  • Canada Council Art Bank
  • Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Canadian Catholic Conference
  • Canterbury College of Art, Kent, England
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario Also archival collection Art Gallery 98 and Museum.1998. (work from 1970-98n)
  • CBC Montreal
  • Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
  • Esso Resources Division
  • Gotland Museum, Visby, Sweden
  • Government of Prince Edward Island
  • McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario
  • McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontar
  • Memorial University Art Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, P.Q.
  • New Brunswick Art Gallery and Museum
  • Prince Edward Island Art Bank
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
  • Shell Canada Collection
  • St. Mary's University, Halifax, N.S.
  • Toronto Dominion Bank Collection & Universities of New Brunswick, N.B, & PEI
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