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Hillary Cumberworth is a sculptor living and working in Austin, Texas. Her work and life explores the common threads of human connection both universal and individual. Cumberworth has spent much of her adult life living abroad in Dubai and across the United States in New York, San Antonio, and Houston. The life of an expatriate has provided Cumberworth with a thoughtful perspective on the world which is manifested in her sculptural work. No matter where you are from and what you fundamentally believe, the common thread that connects us all is the desire for a better life for our families, our children and for each other.  


The gentle curving lines of Cumberworth’s sculptures are built by hand using clay, slab and coil techniques.  She works with clay because of the history intrinsic to the material itself. Clay is the product of water relentlessly rushing over the earth and holds that history in every ounce of its density. All four of the universal elements play a role in her process- earth, water, air and fire. Each piece begins as a hollow form. She creates movement, dips, folds, and high points by pressing into the clay body, intentionally pushing the clay to its farthest capabilities just before collapsing. Cumberworth then refines the piece using simple wooden tools and metal ribs to smooth any imperfection. Cumberworth uses neutral and naturally occurring glaze colors to harmonize with the organic body of the clay.  


Storytelling and the connectivity of our experiences is a key element to Hillary’s work.  Every bend and curve in her pieces represent the moments in life that make an impact on our narrative- small and unseen snippets or catastrophic waves that mold us and our thinking.  Hillary’s sculptures are meant to show the pure beauty and strength that can only be held after struggle and sacrifice.  A single vessel can stand solo to shine independently. When grouped together, the impression of one’s pain fits into the nook of another’s progression, creating a puzzle of empathy through struggle and growth. We each have a history to tell, as does the clay that creates these vessels. Sharing the story of our collective humanity. 

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