From the time she was very young Hollie put images on paper to communicate what she was seeing, feeling and experiencing. Her desire to continue to do just that led her to printmaking. Hollie, studying printmaking and painting at UNC at Chapel Hill, got her BFA and continued her interest in printmaking by earning her MFA from the University of Georgia.
She taught art at the college, high school and middle school level. Hollie was a designer for many years and while working in advertising and book design continued her interest in the impact of images and words on paper.
In the early 80’s Hollie experimented with clay as a medium to make drawing ideas three-dimensional, and created a series of sculptural clay drawings.
Later, Hollie revisited her love of clay to hone her throwing skills in order to teach her students how to work on the wheel. While taking throwing classes she became totally enamored with clay as a handbuilding medium. And she substituted thin slabs of clay for paper. In addition to carving and stamping images on the surface, she photo-screenprinted pictures onto the clay as well. This approach makes one recall that long before "paper" existed in any of its forms, clay tablets were used to communicate ideas. Clay has distinct advantages. It is a better, longer lasting way of expressing and preserving some of those ideas.
Not satisfied just working in two dimensions, Hollie began to manipulate the clay to create three-dimensional forms and structures. She found that was a better way to communicate the spiritual concepts that developed through her broader experience.
Her Spirit Houses were originally based on an extension of the historic North Carolina icon, the tobacco barn that had aged and weathered and yet still preserved and performed their function, Similarly, Hollie’s Spirit Houses protect and preserve the very essence of life itself. The deterioration that is presented in the pieces speaks to the function of weathering and aging. Those characteristics contribute to wisdom and to the understanding of life.
Hollie’s wall-niches showcase important, symbolic objects, something to be treasured and revered. Some of the objects have a strong spiritual element. Her open box-like altarpieces, upon which each of the surfaces is patterned, display spiritual icons. In some of the works the icons can be moved and adjusted, allowing the viewer to manipulate or change their position and participate in the creation.
In each of her three-dimensional works, Hollie manipulates clay slabs to communicate her concept of spirituality and life. The lessons she has acquired through learning, growing and reaching inside. This is the ambiance she would like others to experience through her work. And each of the imaginative pieces is made of long-lasting earthenware.