Holly will be leading three of our expressive arts teachers’ CPD sessions online. We asked her a few questions about her work to date and how she has been finding life, working and being creative during the last year.
You can join Holly and A2:Connect at one or more of these online CPD sessions:
Over the last year, I have found my creativity has been really tested. Not so much having the time or space to be physically making but more the healthy headspace artists need to develop, think, reflect on ideas and move them forward. I have spent a lot of time thinking with my hands and focused on making, experimenting with materials and exploring new processes such as working with plaster, felt, plywood and watercolours.
I decided that a good strategy for me was to take away the pressure of making for an outcome and enjoy the space that allowed me to have for the pure pleasure of making and how things feel. Outside of the studio, I have really enjoyed engaging with my creativity to make some practical things such as draft excluders, leg warmers, refurbishing windows at home alongside thinking about other ways to be creative; cooking, baking, singing, playing backgammon, listening to music and reading.
Blended Learning is an exciting way to approach the learning and teaching space. Contemporary life is a combination of in real life experiences combined with those online. We use the digital world more and more to understand and connect to the world around us from practical uses such as buying cinema tickets to ordering shopping to supporting our connectivity with loved ones. It is crucial that we use the internet as part of the resources available to us in the learning and teaching environment but that it accompanies real life experiences such as working with different art materials, looking at books, watching films, experiencing theatre, dance and music. When used in collaboration, blended learning can enhance the teaching and learning space, offering up exciting ways to connect with the group and individual creativity.
My work and approach to the learning space is one of collaboration and equality. My art practice explores ideas around absence, place and archive. I work with public and private collections and archives to highlight and explore the missing voices within them, particularly the stories of women. I am interested to question and challenge how history has recorded the voices of women and look for possible ways to talk about this through exhibitions, commissions and residencies.
The ideas of inclusivity and collaboration are incredibly important to the ways I work and are key to how I work in the learning space. I am passionate for the learning environment to be a space that is shared by both the teacher and the student. I have learnt so much from my students when I have given them agency and ownership over their own learning. As the teacher, I am not the expert but a guide to hold the space for others to explore; their ideas, their thinking, their choices, enabling them to find their own way to share and express their own story of being in the world.
Since graduating Goldsmiths College, London, I have continued to exhibit both nationally and internationally in various gallery and heritage spaces such as Mission Gallery, Swansea; g39, Cardiff; The Newbridge Project, Gateshead; The Hardwick Gallery, Cheltenham Spa; A La Ronde, National Trust, Exeter; Swansea Castle, Swansea; Croft Castle, National Trust, Hereford; Chapter, Cardiff and The Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton. From 2012, I had a number of commissions in museum settings including Nothing Is What It Is, National Museum Cardiff; The Nameless Grace, The Holburne Museum, Bath; and Here is Where we Came From, Plymouth Art Gallery and Museum. I have taken part in several residences including URRA, Buenos Aires; Gedok, Stuttgart; La Residencia, Gijon. In 2019, I was the Creative Wales Fellow at The British School at Rome and in 2020, I had a solo exhibition at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London.