Oil on wood panel
About the Artist
Holly MacKinnon (b.1992, Canada) is a painter working out of Montreal, Canada. Her work involves figurative and landscape elements to create dreamy, imagined environments rife with tension and emotion. She wishes to entice the viewer with a balance between the sophisticated and the childlike, creating a gentle pull between beauty and darkness, joy and despair. She received her BFA from NSCAD University in 2015 and she has participated in many exhibitions and residencies, both in Canada and abroad.
About the Artwork
These paintings were born of my mother’s old photo albums. It was a strange and lovely universe into which I fell deeply. From the outside, it seemed like a simple, innocent time. It sucked me into a nostalgia vortex. I am both haunted and delighted by these memories, which makes painting them an interesting feat. I often like to zoom in on certain corners or background details, because this is what I most often see, in real life: how someone holds a cherished item, how they plaster on a camera smile. I often combine these pictures with found imagery to create painted collages. This is a form of play, to either heighten or neutralize the family photo, depending on my feeling.
In my work, you’ll find small pieces of a strange puzzle, the subtleties that often go unnoticed, as well as the sentimental, cliché imagery art school once taught me to avoid. Oil paint helps me to emulate hazy visions, play with light and shadow, and build layers. We work together to create strange atmospheres. What results is a pull between the banal and the sublime, harmony and tension, darkness and joy. I hope to create paintings that resonate with the shared stories of the human experience.