Bloodline: Portrait of Community

Bloosline Building Community-Holly Wilson
Bloodline: Building Community

Bloodline: Portrait of Community

Unique Cast Bronze, Patina, Cedar and Steel, 20” x 84” x 10”, 2022

There is the family you are born into and then there is the family you make. They are the friends you made in school, the neighbor’s you live by and the colleagues at your work. You watch the children grow and tell the secret wishes you have for them. You have meals together; you share in the joy the ups and the down and you bring them love and kindness when they have lost a loved one. We build an extended family that grows year by year and that makes for a community that is full of rich diversity, compassion, and love.

My mother told me of the “Stick People,” a Delaware/Lenape story; they would run through the night calling your name, beckoning you to follow; if you went with them, you were never heard from again. I am reimagining that story, now a story of family and friends. My family’s history—a complicated narrative of loss, erasure, survival, and resilience. The figures are made from real cigars and found sticks; I now call them “Cigar Figures.” Their faces are of the ancestors, family, and friends, echoing the form of a cameo or silhouette painting, capturing family images. They walk upon a cedar log from my land in Oklahoma; I have heard cedar called mother. She carries the people on her back, and we can see the paths made on her bark by the tiny animals that lived their lives below her skin. All these lives lived together as a community, listening to the secret dreams of our children whispered to the wind, growing year by year, full of life, compassion, and love, above, below, and here.

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.


For inquiries, please contact:
The Studio
Mustang, OK 73064 | 405.308.0239

Exhibition History

  • Seen Unseen, Feb 21 – July 14, Duhesa Gallery Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado


Bloodline Building Community-Holly Wilson-back

Bloodline: Building Community

Bloodline Building Community-Holly Wilson-sv
Bloodline: Building Community
Bloodline Building Community-Holly Wilson-front
Bloodline: Building Community