The Angel Chapel © Jane Hilton
The series, For Better or for Worse, is to go on show at
“This show feels appropriate right now”, says Hilton, by way of explanation. She was in Las Vegas, photographing over 100 couples who were tying the knot and was fascinated by the stand-alone chapels inside some of the casinos that existed downtown on the strip. “When I photographed these wedding chapels in the ’90s, the industry was booming,” she says. “I was excited by how kitsch the chapel interiors were and how they epitomised a sense of fun and amusement in this McDonald’s style wedding culture.”
The Hitching Post © Jane Hilton
The Garden Wedding Chapel © Jane Hilton
The cinematic, haunting images were taken on a plate camera and to Hilton, the altars “encapsulate the exuberance of that era and the melancholia of the present”. Visitors to the show will be confronted with an arresting quartet of large-scale photographs. “As well as yearning for the past and a questioning of the future, they feel slightly eerie, with a certain tension, disquietude and resounding silence. A reflection of the last eighteen months driven by anxiety,” adds Hilton.
Solaris’ gallerist and curator Alexandra Drawbridge believes that the vacant altars are powerful, especially now. Hilton expresses that to her, the photographs represent a nostalgia and a yearning for a time before the existential crises of 9:11, the financial crash of 2008, Brexit and our current situation.
“American Culture has been through a massive lobectomy in the last few years and the American Dream is fighting for survival,” says Hilton. “With massive corporations having more power than the President, the fallout in communities resonates. Standing in front of these altars looking at the heart of this culture, becomes more provocative.”
For Better or for Worse by Jane Hilton goes on show at
The Neon Chapel © Jane Hilton