February 20, 2011

More Beach Plastic Sculpture

Right now I'm listening to a band called the Books - I really like them. My friend Dustin turned me on to them.  We had art studios in the same building about 10 years ago in Arcata... that was when I really had a chance to go for this series of sculptures - all from plastic that I found on the beach.

I always liked Dustins taste in music and still do it turns out. I made allot of these sculptures in that studio, listening to music and the BBC which was on the radio up there.

We even had a pirate radio station in our building. It was a pretty cool scene. 

I was up there with Richard, the father of my child, who was writing his dissertation about the Humboldt Timber wars. I'll put a link at the bottom so you can BUY it!  It got published by university of Minnesota Press. I haven't read it - but I lived it. It's going to have allot of LONG sentences and be genus.

Earth Firsters would use my studio sometimes to paint protest banners. Julia Butterfly was sitting in her tree then.

I knew some of her support team through Richard and his research. They were trying to save the last small bit of old growth forrest standing. They were committed, 

guitar playing, fairly scruffy and fearless forrest defenders. It makes  me want to cry thinking about it. It was beautiful what they were doing...at least some of it was.

I did this sculpture on the day the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddha. I can't even read what it says now, but everything and anything that was around me then had the potential to be woven into one of these sculptures. 

I was reading Lacan  too - the Language of the Self? Is that what it's called? It's funny because there are German words in the sculptures that I cant remember the meaning of now.

This one says "Creating intimacy to stall production". It was a Richard line and I can't remember if he was quoting it or not - but I love it.  So hard to know if its a good or bad thing though! 

I would do one a day, using apoxy and wire (glue guns work too if you  varnish them afterwards.) The "subject"  tended to be extracted from the present - news events, feelings, dreams, words or concepts from books I was reading - but the structure, the concept and the skeleton came from something more historic. That is my childhood. I wrote a bit about that in the beginning of this blog - the origins of the lemon grove 1 2 and 3. I will be writing more.

The links below are more to do with the reason i was in humboldt for a year, Richard and his research - but what actually happened there for me, who I met and what I created was pretty different. 

I missed the big city and urban stuff - music, art, an edge...thats why I was so happy to be around artists who were also passing through and were tapped into something/somewhere else...like Dustin and Scott and all the rest. While Arcata was crawling with people who had generally fled civilization as we know it, and the the environment right outside our door was under siege, we were inside making stuff, listening to alot of music, eating lunch together and playing.

Talking about trying to make it as an artist, what we were doing and how it had any meaning and what that meant. I was taking plastic from the beach and transforming it into weird little sculptures...that I quite like. What better way to promote change than to seduce it into existence, I thought - and the sculptures all have quite playful but suggestive little bits if you study them. It seems like the quickest way to get people interested in a thing, to pay attention is to make it sexy. I was trying to make trash from the beach, a fairly repulsive and destructive phenomenon, something that people would pay attention to. 

I also noticed that a great deal of what I found could be: inserted, rubbed on ones lips or body, put in ones mouth, sucked on, licked, and so on.  I also think it is incredibly ironic that there are so many water bottles polluting our water. It's huge - and the irony is even huger. It's cultural self sabotage - don't you think?


These are just little observations and theories that tend to change over time.  

I am a great believer in the significance of little actions, of tiny steps of an individuals potential to influence great big things. I believe in the power of love over fear. Life is too too short to not be engaged and take action. It's too short to be scared to reach out and help someone if they're asking for it. It's too short to be afraid of looking weird, of being abnormal, of being different and rejected because you have a different idea about the way something should happen, look or be said.
Thats all....oh, and don't forget to have fun!




  1. I have spent wayyy too long this afternoon looking at these fabulous creations. I have a tendency to make rubbish out of the beauty all around, so I have to admire your skills with a 3 ring agitator. It makes me want to go beach trawling with the girls. Do you still have them?

  2. YOU ROCK, Ms. Holly. I am going to quote your line about seducing change into existence. Such an apt metaphor. Sometimes it's years in the making - and then one night the opportunity presents itself - like Egypt...I agree with everything you said on this blog 1000%.
    Question: did you find ALL the stuff on the beach? Or did you supplement it with some dumpster diving?
    Anyway I am going to show the folks at our school this blog and maybe we'll get it together to do a trash art project with the kids. Thank you for being an inspiration and for sharing your self in such a beautiful way! xo

  3. Clare Carey! How great to hear from you and thank you so much for the awesome compliments! Yes - every last bit of what I use is from the beach. I have friends try to give me cool bits of found plastic all the time... they have such a hard time getting that it HAS to come from the beach, even if they're really familiar with my work. That's where the real integrity of the series lies. You can pick it up if it doesn't belong there and is detrimental to the inner tidal zone -but NO feathers, stones or natural objects...this is materials collection/art making with a very specific purpose! :). And it's SO fun to collect! You combine a beach clean up with a work out, a walk on the beach, a treasure hunt and a trip to the art supply store where they're all free! Woo hoo!
    I'm glad you get the seduction part...that's really important too.

  4. I find me self getting lost int the art while I want to read what you have said.
    I am going to have to come back and try to read when I can focus.

  5. Such fun and surreal creations and eco-friendly..Bravo Holly!