“Return from Exile” Traveling Group Exhibition

Gathering-Holly Wilson
Gathering-Holly Wilson

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

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


Gathering-Detail-Holly Wilson


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

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.