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Erin Hollingshead

Artist Statement

The ocean is my favourite place to be – I carefully plan my weeks around the tide and swell so that I can surf as much as possible. This obsession and fascination with the water has crept into every aspect of my life, and has become my biggest source of joy and peace. It has especially infiltrated my work as an artist and I am always gathering inspiration during my beach and coastal visits.
My paintings and lino-cut prints are created using reference images that I gather at the beach, and are sometimes collaged with images I take in my home studio. I start my paintings with a sketch and an underpainting in acrylic paint. I then layer oil paint on top in carefully added layers to achieve a painting that is realistic but also retains a painterly quality. My lino-cut prints start with a sketch that I then carve into a piece of linoleum. Once a carving is made, it can be inked and pressed to paper to create the artwork.

How do you interpret ‘Ready to wear’ in your work?

I am constantly thinking about, dreaming about and spending time in the ocean. It infiltrates every part of my life through the activities that I do, the way I schedule my free-time to make sure it’s at low tide as often as possible, and the things that I wear. When I think about “Ready to Wear” I am reminded of the ways that I have included this theme in my work through the years. “Trinkets” is an oil painting that focuses on the way I decorate my body on a day-to-day basis with jewelry that connects me to the ocean when I’m not near it. “High Tide” is an oil painting I completed in 2019 that is an interpretation of the way it feels to have a wave crash right onto you. Inspired by the sculpture The Veiled Virgin by Giovanni Strazza, I used fabric to represent the sensation of being pushed under the water. “Selkies” is a lino-cut print that interprets the Scottish folklore myth of women that can put on a seal skin to become a seal when they are in the water, and can remove it to be a human again. I created this image after realizing that I am often like a Selkie when I put on my wetsuit to go into the frigid ocean water.

 

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