In Reading Gaol flyer  

Martina was proud to participate in a group exhibition of Reading based artists

‘In Reading Gaol by Reading Town’

at the Turbine House, Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock, Reading, September 2019.

‘In Reading Gaol by Reading Town’ are famous words from Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol – and the title of a forthcoming art exhibition – although these days the gaol isn’t so much by Reading town as in the centre, next to the ruins of Reading Abbey in the newly designated Abbey Quarter.

Exhibition website:

Participating Artists: Carole Pembrooke, Carole Stephens, Chris Mercier, Heather McAteer, Jane Vincent, Jenny Halstead, Joan McQuillan, Julie Simmonds, Linda Saul, Liz Real, Martin Andrews, Martina Hildebrandt, Mick McNicholas, Paul Woolley, Peter Hay (1951-2003), Robert Fitzmaurice, Sally Castle, Tim Wilson, Tom Cartmill, Trish Roberts.



At last I saw


At last I saw...
by Martina Hildebrandt
Mixed media assemblage



Martina showed two works, the main piece was a mixed media assemblage titled At last I saw... where a faded figure sits with head in hands. Inspired by the verse:


At last I saw the shadowed bars

Like a lattice wrought in lead,

Move right across the whitewashed wall

That faced my three-plank bed,

And I knew that somewhere in the world

God's dreadful dawn was red.

“I had a clear image in my head of Oscar Wilde’s cell as we know it today, but it was only after reading the Ballad that the image of a slightly faded transparent figure of a past prisoner emerged, sitting in despair. Originally thinking I’d do a linocut print, whilst doing some preparatory sketches, for additional inspiration, I looked at the prisoner works of a favourite artist A. Paul Weber, best known for his dark social commentary lithographs. This is the mixed media piece that developed. The viewer is kept at a distance and needs to peer through a slightly grubby grill, intrigued by what’s inside.”

Luxury flat C33

Luxury flat C.3.3

by Martina Hildebrandt
Mixed media

Martina also created a work which came about as a reaction to the news that the site of Reading Gaol will be sold later in the year, the fear being it will be turned into luxury flats, instead of being developed into a much needed and locally supported cultural centre including an Oscar Wilde Museum, theatres and art galleries. This Luxury flat is SOLD.


Stop Reading Gaol sell-off

Please support Reading MP Matt Rodda's campaign to save this Heritage site from redevelopment into luxury flats, and instead see it turned into an Arts and Heritage Centre. He needs as many signatures as possible for a change in Government policy.

To sign the petition please visit: