Brooklyn-based artist Hilary Harkness is making waves with her recent work, which reimagines history and comments on sociocultural forces with a contemporary revisionist sensibility. Harkness’s earlier paintings focused on the World War II era, but her newest body of work, “The Arabella Freeman Series,” is an ongoing project that is gaining attention.Represented by P.P.O.W. Gallery, the series was conceived as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Copyist Program. Harkness began by transforming Winslow Homer’s iconic Civil War era painting, “Prisoners from the Front,” 1866, by changing the race of one of the figures to a Black Union soldier. This change sparked a series of questions in Harkness, leading her to dive deeper into the history and
laws that prevented Black wealth, freedom, and citizenship.
The resulting series presents an alternative narrative centered around an enduring relationship between Homer’s protagonist, Union General Barlow, and a fictitious, free Virginia landowning African-American family, the Freemans. Through her paintings, Harkness aims to create a world that she wants to see, painting a picture of a reality that could have been.
Harkness’s work is gaining attention for its unique perspective and commentary on sociocultural issues. If you’re interested in learning more about Harkness’s work or the “Arabella Freeman Series,” be sure to check out P.P.O.W. Gallery for more information.
Source:Artist Hilary Harkness Reimagines