Holly Chadd

Holly is taking part in our coming Home is a Feeling show in Faversham on 13th and 14th November.

Describe what you do as a creative.

I am a sculptor. I like to make small, special objects that are often tactile. At the moment I am primarily working with ceramics. I am interested in the act of making, faith, death and personal mythologies. I get a lot of enjoyment from words and phrases and these often feature in my works.

Tell us about yourself.

I come from the East Midlands originally. Growing up in an isolated rural location, I spent a lot of time with my imagination and doing various arts and crafts. There’s a lot of creativity in my family but I was discouraged from pursuing a career in the arts. Once I was able to, I moved to London to study art and ended up doing my Masters at the RCA

What turns on your creativity?

My work is always in response to something; an idea, a new word, an object, a feeling. I’m really into urban nature at the moment. I start with a feeling I’m trying to convey. There are more words than pictures in my sketch book!

What do you like best about your work?

I love that I can create objects from feelings and ideas, for me it is a form of communication. I respond to the imperfections of my work, and that is something that has become part of my visual language. Successful pieces are unique and involve a number of processes to get their colour, finish and embellishments. When they come out of the kiln for the last time, they are special and unlike anything else out there.

When were you most satisfied in your work?

Getting selected for the Turner Contemporary Open this year has been a real high. Having moved to Kent about four years ago it’s very affirming to be showing work with so many great Kent artists. Reaching a standard where I can sell and gift my work has also given me great satisfaction.

Describe a memorable response to your work?

When viewers are excited by the work and it starts a conversation, that never gets old.

What is the most exciting part of your work at the moment?

Starting to exhibit again, not just after the pandemic but after being in Kent for a few years, I am excited to be part of the Kent ‘scene’. Displaying work leads to new ideas and gives an opportunity to try things you wouldn’t otherwise and of course to meet new people and get feedback.

What is your dream project?

I love working in response to spaces and setting up shows, so a show in an unusual space with time to make specific works would be so exciting.

Which artists / creative people are your heroes and inspiring figures?
I love Franz West for his functional & interactive sculptures. Discovering him was a real light bulb moment for me and it was amazing to see his retrospective at Tate Modern. Marcel Duchamp for his inventiveness, Ed Ruscha for his use of words and mountains in his paintings.

Your idea of happiness?

Definitely my studio is my happy place, I think most artists would agree. Because of my intense interest in things I also enjoy antique fairs, junk shops and museums. I am lucky to be able to travel with my partner Jim and look at things in other countries and cultures!

Tell us a lesson life has taught you.

Working hard at something you enjoy is so worthwhile and will pay off. This truth keeps me going. I’d also have to say never throw anything away. But possibly don’t listen to me on that…

Author: nathalieb