Bradley University Galleries

Holly Roberts – Visual Voices Lecture Online

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Supplicant II, mixed media, 2017, courtesy of Tilt Gallery


Join us for an archive Visual Voices Lecture from March 2019, presented by our 2019 Bunn photographer Holly Roberts.

This lecture will be available for online viewing March 4th – 11th 2021.

From the artist:
I work intuitively, painting an abstract image before applying bits and pieces of photographic fragments and other materials on the surface of the painting. What I am trying for is a painting that can stand alone but that won’t dominate the collage that is to follow. However, in large part, it is the painting that determines what is to follow; the colors, the movement, the essence of the paint.

Once I start forming the image, I select materials that speak to me. Most of what I use are photographs that I have taken and materials that I have either made or collected. These bits and pieces will provide the structure of the story as it unfolds, giving me the clues I need to understand where I’m headed. It’s much like following a trail of breadcrumbs through the forest; not knowing where I’m headed but trusting that I will, eventually, arrive. The collage works best when the pieced photos make up something that they aren’t about literally, but have a metaphorical or poetic connection, either through subject or texture.

The large concerns in my life are at the core of my work: the degradation of the environment, spiritual meaning in a world of polarized and extremist views, the stress and fear of aging, the daily fears and anxieties of being alive in the world today. My default subjects are usually awkward, sometimes threatening, and most often, a little lonely. My work is about the people, animals, and landscapes which inhabit my world, both urban and wild. As well, I have always had an ongoing fascination with portraiture, trying to capture an essence without being too literal.
These collages allow me to continue to do what I have always done with my art; by processing the world through my eyes and my hands, I am able to make a greater sense of the confusion, the complexity, and the humor of the world around me.

This program has been made possible by the support of The Bunn Lectureship in Photography series. Endowed by a generous donation from Bradley alums, Jacob and Lorrie Bunn, for over 20 years The Bunn Lectureship in Photography has brought nationally and internationally recognized photographers to Bradley’s campus. With the goal of broadening and enriching students’ educational experience, this program supports exhibitions, lectures, and workshops where students benefit from direct interaction with professional photographers.

View lecture HERE.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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