Artist Statement

Psstt Can You Keep a Secret_Detail_Holly Wilson

I want to sculpt emotions, emotions that you can put on like your own skin and breath in a moment frozen in time. I want you to feel another’s life, for just that moment to see we are all one below that surface, that surface of skin no matter the color the shape or origin.

My figures serve as my storytellers in the world, telling stories of the sacred and the precious, capturing moments of our day, our vulnerabilities, and our strengths. They are the quiet echoes of life’s delicate balance, telling of the fragility in both life and their own form; how far one can reach, which step may be too many.

I am a storyteller. I used the to tell the stories of others life’s that of my mother and her family. I am a Delaware/Cherokee Native American; I grew up hearing many stories from my mother. I was drawn to those of shape shifters with the idea of a trickster who wears a mask to hide their identity, birds as messengers, and owls as bearers of tragic news. These stories also now run through most of my work.

With the birth of my son and daughter those stories have taken on new meaning. I now tell stories of my own family intertwined with that of my past. I see the world with new eyes, I feel I am guide and guardian. I see the secrets that are whispered from one child to another and the weight that they can carry, from innocent little giggle to that which will shadow one’s spirit for a lifetime.

The masks many of the figures wear are layered with meaning from creatures in nature to a child’s imagined world. As children, we make and wear masks to be anything we want or need to be and we could do anything in them, from being a super hero to a bird in flight. As adults, the layers and meaning deepen and grow and these masks are a way to represent the different personas that we need or desire to be in life. They become an identity that one can live through or hide behind in our roles – I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a wife, a mother, an artist, and an Indian.

The work I cast in my studio with the traditional method of lost wax casting in combination with mixed media elements. The work is one of a kind and singular in edition; no two are alike they are each their own story.