Earlier this month we interviewed British artist Holly Duce at her home studio in South London. Holly's home is an eclectic mix of paintings, photographs and natural found objects, merged with books, plants, and a very carefully chosen interior colour pallet. In every crevis of her home you can find neatly arranged natural found objects. Her wax-rock hybrid sculptures are wrapped in blankets nesting amongst her home-made velvet cushions and the bigger sculptures are seen propping up doors. She takes us on a tour of her home and her newly grown vegetable patch, and we begin!
Hello, I’m Holly I’m an artist and rock climber living in London. I grew up in Kent, I wish I lived in Iceland, and hope to one day - preferably with lots of dogs.
My work is primarily sculpture based and explores how we absorb time and place; particularly within geology and the natural landscape. I am interested in why we engage with certain aspects of a place or why we may be drawn towards a singular object. I use found objects as a catalyst in the studio, where I combine them with semi translucent materials such as wax and glass. These act as a window for capturing a sense of place as it becomes suspended in process and material.
'I use found objects as a catalyst in the studio, where I combne them with semi tranclucent materials such as wax and glass. These act as a window for capturing a sense of place as it becomes suspended in process and material.'
My latest finished work was titled ‘Basic Rocks and Their Relatives’. It consisted of two sculptures in separate rooms. The first was a piece of Portland stone with a semi translucent lip of wax, sat alongside a piece of bluish glass raised an inch or so off the ground. In the second room a larger piece of stone sat on top of a brown wool blanket; next to this two books raised an inch or so off the ground. In the second room a larger rolled by a piece of copper wire were placed on a piece of dappled glass. Both pieces had a subtle visual relationship to one another and the physical separation of the rooms allow for the viewer to create their own memory of the related sculpture.
You get a good idea of my mediums of choice: wax, stone and glass are big ones for me!
Recently I have been working on smaller pieces that I guess I would consider painting. I love using heavy materials like oil, enamel, varnish and clay that either soak through or sit on top of the paper. I find this process really helpful for the realization of spatial ideas.
Very rarely do I have a plan for a piece of work before I have actually made the physical result. I like to play with materials and physical objects and observe how they interact. I can often have a piece sat in the studio for weeks and I may just change a very small aspect until something happens that excites me. This can be something like placing a block of wax next to an image or wrapping it in a blanket I’ve taken a liking to. I like to let materials create their own narrative; I wish I could say I have a super refined process but it has never worked that way for me!
‘I like to play with materials and physical objects and observe how they interact.'
‘I like to let materials create their own narrative.’
It’s pretty hard to choose one so here are two and also my favourite pieces of their work without writing you an essay:
I am also a climber and design climbs for indoor bouldering walls. I like to think of myself as a choreographer for climbers! I grew up visiting outdoor crags all over the UK and France which exposed me to so many beautiful types of rock. This has certainly had a huge influence in my obsession with geology and landscape. I’m definitely a physical person and either need to be climbing or making something.
I appear to be very particular when it comes to colour! Everything in my wardrobe is variations of dusty pink, green and the occasional brown. I love seeing my clothes age, I have a crochet cotton cardigan that gets better as the colours fade each year. I guess that I hope to still be wearing the things I have in my wardrobe in fifty years’ time and still as fond of them as I am now.
My garden! I’m a novice vegetable grower and completely addicted to buying seeds and seeing what happens, although I think I may have enough courgettes to feed London in the next few months.
I listen to lots of different music depending on my mood/activity; I'd say my most listened to are Nils Frahm and my UK Garage Classics playlist.
Renli Su Girl- Holly Duce
Artist: Holly Duce @hollykiloduce @h0llykil0duce
Creative Direction- Nina Scott-Smith
Photography – Janny
Graphic design- Jasmine Nie