Under Our Skin

Under Our Skin-Detail-Holly Wilson
Under Our Skin-Detail

Under Our Skin

100” x 70” x 2”, (site sets size), Crayola Crayon

I think if we could see ourselves as all the colors in the crayon box in all the shades, we could be kinder we would be able to feel if just for a moment another’s life and our world could change in such a way that children would not worry about if they are too light or too dark to belong. We are more than a classification in terms of a position between two extremes, I see the light within us all and the variations that make each of us, we are all the colors and an untold number of possibilities.

The way we see others and how one is seen has been a subject that I have had in my life since I was small. I am both Native American and Caucasian but growing up I felt more times than I care to count that I was not enough of one or the other and that pull made me question all parts of myself. If I did not look like _____ could I be ______? Where did I fit if I was not a part of this or that group? I have had conversations with many that are from other races and nationalities, and they too have struggled. Is my skin too dark or not dark enough, the texture of my hair or the accent that one hears when I speak? All this history, this past came to a head one day while getting my children ready for school we were pulling together pencils, colored pencils, folders, 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 a big laugh, she has yellow hair or the boy I ate lunch with, he was a helper, and he told the funniest stories”, in a very casual descriptive manner with no malice or notice to the differences. This made me think more about 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, color. We are all one below that surface, that surface of skin, no matter the color, the shape, or the origin.

12 girls and each girl are made from 12 colors in a Crayola Crayon box making a total of 144 girls.



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22 E. 81 ST | New York City, New York 10028 | 929.226.7800 | www.bdgartboutique.com
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Exhibition History

  • Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (November 9th, 2018 – Aug 4, 2019)
  • Holly Wilson: Talk Story, C.N. Gorman Museum, University of California-Davis (January 9-March 16, 2018)
Under Our Skin-Holly Wilson-2m
Under Our Skin
Under Our Skin-v2-Holly Wilson
Under Our Skin


Science Museum Install-Holly Wilson
Under Our Skin and Spectrums Within Under Our Skin


Under Our Skin-v4-Holly Wilson