Press Release: The Familiars

Haley Wood | Aris Moore
March 23, 2023
The Familiars: Installation View
The Familiars: Installation View


noun: familiar; plural noun: familiars; noun: familiar spirit; plural noun: familiar spirits

  1. a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal. "her familiars were her two little griffons that nested in her skirts"

  2. a close friend or associate.

Middle English (in the sense ‘intimate’, ‘on a family footing’)


Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present The Familiars, a two-person exhibition featuring the artwork of Haley Wood and Aris Moore. Using anthropomorphized subjects, Moore and Wood build fantastic lands of endearing beings and vivid colors. The results are otherworldly.

Haley Wood, Blue Wizard and the Familiar, 2023, Acrylic yarn, hand-tufted, 39 x 29 in.


Haley Wood is a storyteller whose visual language centers on the Drollery - creatures found in the margins of illuminated medieval manuscripts. While depicting select humanoid subjects, she centers her imagery on animals with a great range of personality that often take on human qualities. Wood’s medium is the tufted rug, a challenge she embraces in the rendering of complex emotions in her subjects through static expression.


Aris Moore uses unconventional portraiture to render very human feelings and concepts into a series of anthropomorphic beings, whose expressions, body language and endearing awkwardness capture the complexity of what it is to experience humanity. Real encounters and people from Moore's life, often families, find themselves translated as a myriad of creatures: sometimes as lone figures, sometimes grouped into piling compositions, sometimes animal, sometimes human, but always rendered as soft, intimate drawings.

Aris Moore, One way or another, 2021, Pencil, colored pencil, marker and pen on paper, 7 x 7 in.


Through the imagery and complex emotional range in their artwork, both Moore and Wood nod to children’s literature, a topic often overlooked in spaces reserved for fine art. Notable qualities of this genre find themselves present in both artists’ works - magic, talking animals, and the use of illustration as a narrative tool. Imaginary worlds build themselves out of these suggestions of a story, and through just a fixed expression, gesture or setting, Wood and Moore have the ability to communicate something much more complex than what meets the eye.


Haley Wood is a fiber artist living in Allston, Massachusetts. She has shown her work at the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, the 2023 MassArt Auction, and the 2021 SPRING/BREAK Art Fair in NYC. She holds a BFA in Fibers from Massachusetts College of Art & Design. She has received the MassArt Milestone Grant, Marilyn Pappas Award, and the Barbara L. Kuhlman Award.

Haley Wood, Ballooning, 2023, Acrylic yarn, hand-tufted, 39 x 29 in.


Aris Moore graduated with her BFA in painting and drawing from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in 1998. She enjoyed teaching visual art at Pentucket Regional Middle School in West Newbury, Massachusetts for twenty-one years. Now she teaches private art lessons to people of all ages. In 2012 Aris earned her MFA in painting and drawing from the Art Institute of Boston. She exhibited throughout the United States and her work has been included in art fairs throughout Europe. Her inaugural solo exhibition was presented by Jack Hanley Gallery in NYC in 2012. Recent press includes the northeast edition of New American Paintings, Creative Block and Collage by Danielle Krysa, and Fukt Magazine.  Aris has 18-year-old twins, a cat, and two pet rats. She lives and works in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

About the author

Abigail Ogilvy

Add a comment