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Examining a deeper sense of self with Holly Terry - Fenton & Fenton

Examining a deeper sense of self with Holly Terry

The only certainty in life is change, a sentiment that Kabi Kabi Land (Sunshine Coast, QLD) based artist Holly Terry has fully embraced. Not just within herself, but in her work as well.

Through her Yoga practice, to the exploratory progression of her artistic practice, Holly’s latest body of work encourages people to let go of the status quo and become more in tune with their inner self.

While I Wait - Holly Terry

Photo credit Taylah Golden

We speak to Holly about letting things unfold organically and pushing the limits of colour and abstraction.

Your collection has come together beautifully. Is there one piece in particular that stands out to you and why?

Thank you! This collection was a big one for me and felt especially rewarding when it all came together. I have two favourites.

The first would be 'Closer to Self'. To be honest, this piece was giving me real trouble and I couldn't seem to pull it together but when I gave up and let a little loose with it, everything seemed to fall into place (this was a recurring theme with this body of work!). I love the tones and how organic it is. It’s not so structured which I love.

Closer to Self
63.5cm x 79cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
Framed in Eucalyptus

The second piece is definitely 'Samskara'. I love all the green pieces in this series, but this one was the first. Kate, who I share a studio with, and her assistant Steph hung out with me for an entire afternoon one day trialling greens. My favourite memory of creating this body of work is this piece. It was a lot of fun, the two of them watching me work and saying NO when the green wasn't quite right and YES when I was hitting the mark. It also pinpoints the start of more exploration of colour for me. The word Samskara means imprints or ideas that make up our mental habits and conditioning. However, this piece has a lot of fun, happy memories of letting these samskaras go and working without preconceived ideas.

While I Wait - Holly Terry

125cm x 155cm
Mixed Media on Canvas
Framed in Eucalyptus

What do you hope people will feel or take away when experiencing your work, particularly this exhibition?

That's a tough one! I just hope that people feel a stirring or emotional reaction when they look at the work. At the end of the day, that's all I'm trying to do. A bit like yoga, we practice so we can learn to be closer to ourselves - notice thoughts, feelings and emotions. Even though my work has a particular meaning to me, all I'm trying to do is make people feel a certain way and recognise that.

What can you share about your creative process and how you go about starting a new body of work?

I don't work in any process at all! Outside of my creative self, I run an incredibly tight ship. I am super organised but with my artwork, I am a bit like the Mad Hatter. If I’m feeling inspired, I’ll work and work and work until I fall in a heap and need time off. I work in extremes.

While I Wait - Holly Terry

Photo credit Taylah Golden

With this body of work, I was incredibly lucky. I came off the back of my debut solo show earlier this year and had just moved to the Sunshine Coast. I felt like I had so much to say, and the inspiration just went wild for months. I hope it's always like that!

As an experienced Yoga teacher, how has practicing Yoga influenced how you create your art?

Hugely, on so many levels. In the earlier days, when I was studying to become a yoga teacher, my work was more of a literal representation of the figure and the anatomy of asana (posture).

While I Wait - Holly Terry

Photo credit Taylah Golden

As I kept studying and practicing, I learned that yoga is so much more than a physical practice. Life is yoga. Yoga has offered more than being able to touch my toes or move through a flow, it has taught me about self-recognition, how to identify my emotions and equipped me with many tools to deal with some of the mess life can throw at you.

What's next for you?

If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said I had no idea! Since my works left for the Fenton & Fenton Gallery in Melbourne, I've just been enjoying some much-needed time off painting. Since I moved to the Sunshine Coast, I have hardly taken a second to explore, so it has been really nice.

Although, things are ramping up again! I just confirmed my next show for March 2023 which I am so excited about, but I cannot share any more details for now. After that, I don't know! I suppose we will see where life takes me.

You can view Holly Terry’s work here.

About While I Wait

Doing less, waiting more. Holly Terry’s 'While I Wait' is a body of work that explores the simplicity of letting life unfold at its own pace.

This body of work is an exploratory progression in Holly’s practice - she pushes the limits of colour and abstraction, letting the work unfold organically without too much force or preconceived ideas.