Category: News

BLOODLINE-Holly Wilson

Art Prize Nine

September 20 – October 8, 2017
Bloodline
Art Prize 9 Location
Monroe Community Church
800 Monroe NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Voting Code: 65643

http://www.artprize.org/65643

It is the stories of family, history, and identity that brought me to “Bloodline”. It is a long trail of my Native American history, my bloodline. To be ‘on the Rolls’ as an American Indian you must prove a quantum of blood verified through birth and death records until you match up to a name on the official “Dawes Rolls.” As I began walking through the past to document my blood, with the names and some faces, I wanted to hear them speak and tell their story. I wanted them to be counted.

The figures walk across a Locust tree base that came down in a storm. It is cut lengthwise exposing the rough center revealing the lines that show its life and history. I de-barked the exterior but kept the curve of the tree and its raw surface. You see the figures walking through time—their life above and the tree’s life below.

The Cigar Figures come from a childhood Native American story that my mother told of the “Stick People.” The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name; if you went with them, you were never heard from again. She never described the figures and I was always drawn to the idea of what they looked like. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past—a complicated narrative of loss, survival, and resilience. The figures are made from real cigars and found sticks cast in bronze. The faces are the ancestors from my past as far back as I can trace.

There are sections for each generation, beginning with my children. Though I only have two, there are five figures. Each life is counted and the children who did not survive are remembered with a place on the wood in history; their forms small and their heads bowed. Next, I have my section with my sisters and brother followed by my mother’s and father’s history weaving back and forth. When hung, the light casts a shadow of the figures on the wall. This shadow represents memory for me. Like a shadow, these memories cannot be held, and in the end, we are all only a shadow in history, shadows on this earth.

BLOODLINE
Bronze, Patina and Locust Wood
29″ x 22′ x 9″, 2015
$120,000

Bloodline-Holly Wilson
BLOODLINE
Bloodline-Holly Wilson
BLOODLINE
Bloodline-Holly Wilson
BLOODLINE
Bloodline-Holly Wilson
BLOODLINE
Gathering-Holly Wilson

“Return from Exile” Traveling Group Exhibition

August  21 – December 8, 2017
Fine Art Museum
John W. Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center,
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723
828.227.7211
www.wcu.edu

January-May, 2018 (exact dates TBD)
Museum of the Southeast American Indian
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Pembroke, North Carolina
www.uncp.edu

 

Gathering-Detail-Holly Wilson

GATHERING

Bronze, Patina and Locust Wood
28” x 16.5” x 5.5”, 2015

$12,000
Available Through the Studio

When I was young we lived on a mountain in Cherokee, NC, my father taught at the Indian School for several years. My memories have no words from that time just images, some of running the woods, others of going up and down the winding stairs to go to school. The “Gathering” is my interpretation of that part of my life; my coming home to the place and to the people I am a part of.

The wood is from a Locust tree. It is cut lengthwise; it exposes the rough center of the tree and the lines, the lines of the tree show its history. This wood is cut on the angle to be the mountain I lived upon, and the mountain we all climb during life.

When “Gathering” is hung the light cast’s shadows of the figures on the wall, these shadows represent for me memories. Memories cannot be held they have no words, and in the end, we are all only a shadow in history, shadows on this earth.

I used my Cigar Figures to represent my family in “Gathering”. These figures come from a Native American story of my childhood that my mother told of the “Stick People”. The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name, she never described the figures and I was drawn to the idea of what they looked like for most of my life. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past. The figures are made of real cigars and found sticks. I create molds of the cigars and then cast them and the sticks in bronze. The faces are of the people from my past and my present.

Four by Four 2016: Midwest Invitational Exhibition

I am so pleased to be a part of this beautiful biennial Four by Four 2016: Midwest Invitational Exhibition. The Museum spotlighted one artist from four different states and I was honored to have been chosen for the state of Oklahoma. The exhibition is in its final weeks so I do hope if you have not had an opportunity to see the show that you find time. I have included the work that is apart of the exibition below.

SpringField Art Museum "We Need a Hero" by Holly Wilson 
SpringField Art Museum “We Need a Hero” by Holly Wilson Bronze and Patina, 10′ x 12′ x 8.5″, 2015 ©Holly Wilson

WE NEED A HERO
Bronze and Patina
10′ x 12′ x 8.5″, 2015

This boy stands tall ready to defend his world. The airplanes representing his messages are going out into the world. These messages both large and small, some will survive and some will not go very far. The bombs represent messages that are incoming from both people and society on a daily basis. The blue bombs are just for practice and have no explosives while the white ones with a yellow ring indicates that they are highly explosive and may cause much destruction.

We Need A Hero-Holly Wilson
Detail “We Need a Hero” by Holly Wilson ©Holly Wilson Bronze and Patina, 10′ x 12′ x 8.5″, 2015 ©Holly Wilson

 

 

A View From Within Under The Skin
“A View From Within Under The Skin” by Holly Wilson Pictured with Sarah E. Buhr Curator of Art at the Springfield Art Museum.  Crayola Crayon, 9′ x 12′ x 1.5″, 2016 ©Holly Wilson

 

A View From Within Under The Skin
Detail “A View From Within Under The Skin” by Holly Wilson Crayola Crayon, 9′ x 12′ x 1.5″, 2016 ©Holly Wilson

 

A View From Within Under The Skin
Crayola Crayon
9’ x 12’ x 1.5”, 2016

While getting my children ready for school last fall we were pulling together pencils, folders, colored pencils and crayons. They had to have 4 sets of 24 crayons each and we had leftovers from sets of the past years, some colors had never been used, and we were combining them together so we’d know how many new boxes would be required. The kids were talking about their friends at the new school and friends of their past school. In the conversation they were describing the children “the girl with the yellow hair, the boy with the brown skin”, in a very causal descriptive manner with no malice to the differences. This made me think more on how we see people and how one is judged. The smell of the crayons, the vivid colors, and the thoughts of my youth brought me to this crayon project. How we change in our viewpoints of people, and how we judge people based on race and color. We are all one below that surface, that surface of skin, no matter the color, the shape, or the origin.

 

SpringField Art Museum, "Bloodline" by Holly Wilson 
SpringField Art Museum, “Bloodline” by Holly Wilson, Bronze, Patina and Locust Wood, 29″ x 22′ x 9″, 2015 ©Holly Wilson
BLOODLINE
Bronze, Patina and Locust Wood
29″ x 22′ x 9″, 2015

It is the stories of family; history and identity that are what brought me to the piece “Bloodline”. It is a 22-foot long trail of history; where I came from as far back as I could trace my Native American bloodline to date. To be “on the Rolls” as an American Indian you have to prove a quantum of blood and trace that back through birth and death records until you match up to a name on the official “Dawes Rolls”. As I began walking backwards through the past to prove my blood, with the names and some faces I wanted to hear them speak and tell their story. I wanted them to be counted.

A storm took an old Locust tree down and that is the base for the figures to walk across. The tree is cut lengthwise so it exposes the rough center of the tree and the lines, the lines of the tree to show its history. I de-barked the exterior but kept the curve of the tree and its raw surface. The curve is mounted to the wall; the figures stand upon the top outer edge.

There are sections for each generation. The beginning section is with my own children. Though I only have 2 there are 5 figures. Each life is counted and the children that did not survive are remembered with a place on the wood in history their forms small and their heads bowed. From that I have my own section with my sisters and brother and then weave back and forth between my mother and fathers history. When hung the light casts a shadow of the figures on the wall, this shadow cast on the wall represents for me memory. Like a shadow these memories cannot be held, and in the end we are all only a shadow in history, shadows on this earth.

The Cigar Figures come from a Native American story of my childhood that my mother told of the “Stick People”. The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name, she never described the figures and I was drawn to the idea of what they looked like for most of my life. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past. The figures are made of real cigars and found sticks. I create molds of the cigars and then cast them and the sticks in bronze. The faces are of the people from my past as far back as I can trace.

Bloodline-Holly Wilson
SpringField Art Museum, Detail “Bloodline” by Holly Wilson, Bronze, Patina and Locust Wood, 29″ x 22′ x 9″, 2015 ©Holly Wilson

 

HollyWilson-Topsy Turvy
“TOPSY TURVY” by Holly Wilson, Bronze and Patina, 40″ x 32″ x 10″, 2016 ©Holly Wilson
TOPSY TURVY
Bronze and Patina
40” x 32” x 10”, 2016
HollyWilson-Topsy Turvy
Detail “TOPSY TURVY” by Holly Wilson, Bronze and Patina, 40″ x 32″ x 10″, 2016 ©Holly Wilson

 

Holly Wilson-One Fish Two Fish
“ONE FISH TWO FISH” by Holly Wilson Bronze and Patina, 30″ x 30″ x 4.5″, 2016 ©Holly Wilson
ONE FISH TWO FISH
Bronze and Patina
30” x 30”x 4.5”, 2016

Where do they come from? I can’t say. But I bet they have come a long, long way. Not one of them Is like another.

 

Holly Wilson-One Fish Two Fish-Detail 1
Detail “ONE FISH TWO FISH” by Holly Wilson”ONE FISH TWO FISH” by Holly Wilson Bronze and Patina, 30″ x 30″ x 4.5″, 2016 ©Holly Wilson

 

Holly Wilson-Enough
“ENOUGH” by Holly Wilson Bronze and Patina, 10.5″ x 14.5″ x 12.5″, 2015 ©Holly Wilson
ENOUGH
Bronze and Patina
10.5” x 14.5” x 12.5”, 2015

How much is enough? If one is good today then 100 is better, we are overwhelmed by what we have yet we want for more. This girl stands atop of boxes of sugary cupcakes that are nothing more that empty, hollow treats.

 

Holly Wilson-Enough-detail
Detail “ENOUGH” by Holly Wilson Bronze and Patina, 10.5″ x 14.5″ x 12.5″, 2015 ©Holly Wilson

Holly Wilson | The Artist Formerly Known as The Waitress

The story behind the title here is when I first meet my husband we were both waiting tables in Houston and he made me a business card as a gift that said “Holly Wilson the artist formerly know as the waitress” his belief in my work has been the true and lasting gift.

I had a wonderful afternoon talking with John from nativeokc.com sharing this and many more stories about my life and my work.
I hope you will enjoy. Thank you for your time, I look forward to our next meeting.

Here is a link to the online interview: http://www.nativeokc.com/art-blog/2016/8/18/the-art-of-storytelling

Here is an image of the business card that he made me and that I have saved for 19 years.

Holly Wilson Business Card from Houston
Holly Wilson Business Card from Houston

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