Blanket of Fog, April 2-May 7, 2015, Women & Their Work, Austin, TX

There has been a blanket of fog, a dense and heavy weight, hovering over me since I was a child. On March 29th, 1986, my childhood home burned down. I remember it clearly, because it was exactly one week after my 15th birthday, and the day before Easter. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with piles of rubble, and I’ve been trying to memorialize events and preserve memories through my various collections, constructions and drawings.

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photo credit: Scott David Gordon

I recently found myself reflecting on the nature of objects and artifacts. Objects being everyday things, versus artifacts, which are man-made objects typically holding some cultural or historical significance. My works are filled with a variety of images, from mundane objects to what I define as “artifacts”, assembled, collected and collaged together through drawings and installations. The works themselves act as evidence, whether that be evidence of personal memories or broader events affecting larger communities.

My work has ranged in media from drawing to video and sculptural installation. No matter what form the work takes, there are threads of memory intertwined with a sort of collective consciousness. In 2011 I became obsessed with images of both man-made and natural disasters. I began gleaning photos from news sources and the internet and started to recontextualize them through elaborate hand cut and digital collages that would be inspiration for detailed drawings. For me, drawing is an important ritualistic activity, imbuing meaning onto representations of events and superficial objects, making them more precious in some way.

Currently, I’m collecting images from the internet and using them to create digital collages representing my childhood memories. My goal these days when combining a variety of images or junk picked up on street corners, is to create some scene that feels real to me, something that conjures and feels as close to my own memories as possible. These constructed memories are represented in this exhibition, Blanket of Fog. This is a personal story, a memory, a fantasy.

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article: In a solo exhibit, Hollis Hammonds reconciles with a childhood fire, By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin - American-Statesman Staff
Sifting through ashes, memories. pdf
I was an Artist-in-Residence at the Indie Grits Film Festival, themed "Future Perfect," in Columbia, South Carolina, April 11-20, 2015. “Columbia Rainbow: Objects in Motion” is a site-specific installation created from Columbia’s junk and detritus, including donated items from the local community. As technology, design, architecture and communities become “Future Perfect” (synthesized, modernized and techno-filled), we will long for the artifacts and stories from our past. This interactive art installation, made from found and donated objects mimics a bridge, rainbow, and a violent storm simultaneously. Visitors were asked to add their memories or hopes for the future to the installation through handwritten notes tied into the work.

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In Ruins: Stacked, ink on drafting film, 20"x20", 2014

A drawing created for my exhibition, Constructs, with Gladys Poorte at Davis Gallery in Austin, TX, October 25 - December 6, 2014. Opening Reception, Saturday, October 25, 7-9 p.m., and Artist Talk, Friday, December 5, 6-8 p.m.

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Salvaged, an exhibition at the Kramer Gallery, Austin Community College, Austin, Texas, 9/2-10/2, 2014.

The works in this series reflect my continued interest in disasters and detris. The title Salvaged references rescued or retrieved items, as in debris snagged in a fisherman’s net, or mementos collected after a house fire.

1. Salvaged #1, ink on mylar, 8"x8", 2014
2. Salvaged #2, ink on mylar, 8"x8", 2014
3. Salvaged: Tangled Nets, ink on mylar, 12"x12", 2014
4. Salvaged: Big Catch, litho crayon on mylar, 8'x6', 2014
5. Salvaged: Caught in the Net, found objects, hand tied net, rope, 2014

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Worthless Matter exhibition at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, May 16 - June 30, 2014. I spent a week constructing this installation, which I now refer to as the "hornet's nest" made from furniture, wood, trash and miscellaneous objects found on the streets of Charleston.

"My parents were hoarders, and even though now we have a TV show about it, back then I think it was kind of normal. It was the Cold War, post-Depression era. People saved and recycled everything. My mother had collections, which were slightly organized chaos. There were dolls everywhere and ceramic figurines everywhere. My father had sheds filled with things. He collected everything. Plastic bottles, bags, he would reuse for some other thing. There was a room in our basement that was filled with plastic containers. I used to play in the backyard, which was basically like a junkyard. Every car my family owned ended up there. It was a car graveyard." She pauses and laughs. "It was kind of crazy."

These early years became the inspiration for much of Hammonds' work. "I'm interested in memories. I'm interested in memorializing all these things through saved objects. It used to be that I was using the actual objects — dolls, china, bottles — that my grandmother, father, or mother owned, but now it's turned into objects that remind me of those things. It's not as literal anymore. It's all about saving little bits and pieces to preserve the memory of things."
-- A Beautiful Disaster

Redux website
Related Articles:
A Beautiful Disaster, By Leah Rhyne
Hollis Hammonds’ Worthless Matter, By Stacy Huggins
Hollis Hammonds: Worthless Matter, By Pauline West

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Worthless Matter exhibition at the Dorothy W. and C. Lawson Jr. Reed Gallery at the University of Cincinnati, DAAP. February 10 - April 6, 2014. This exhibit surveys works created between 2011 and 2014. Exhibition design by Aaron Cowan, photography by Michael Everett.

Wave of Mutilation: Hollis Hammonds’ “Worthless Matter” at Dorothy W. and C. Lawson Reed, Jr. Gallery, DAAP, By Keith Banner

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Drawn In / Drawn Out, an exhibit of contemporary drawing at the Grace Museum in Abilene, TX. Images of "My House: The Storm" and "Worthless Matter."

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Worthless Matter, summer 2013.

In the summer of 2013 I created two large-scale works. The first is a ten-foot diameter sculptural installation made of found objects and held together compositionally with wood veneer strips representing the uncontrollable forces of a storm. The second work is an eleven-foot wide Lithography-crayon drawing on multiple sheets of drafting film, depicting a giant asteroid-like sphere of trash and debris. Both works question consumerist habits, one a symbol of mass consumption, the other a tragedy in the making, as chairs and personal items are spun up in a storm-like organism.

Both were featured in New American Paintings #114.

1. Worthless Matter: Forgotten Home, wood veneer & found objects, as installed in my studio, summer 2013
2-5. Worthless Matter, lithographic crayon on drafting film, installation views from Mark(ing) Time: Expanded Notions in Drawing, Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont, Texas, 8/15-10/1, 2014

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Smoke Rising (1-4), charcoal on paper, 48"x48", 2014.

At the age of fifteen, my family home burnt to the ground, leaving only heaping piles of the burnt remnants of my childhood. It was a reality, and as such, I continued on with little regret. However, in the studio, my childhood memories have emerged through my creative practice. All of a sudden smoke and ash began appearing in my drawings, as I erased, smudged and smeared charcoal over drawn images of piles of rubble and crumbling architectural structures. In the Smoke Rising series I used erasure (creating smoke like forms) as a means to alter and consume the land/cityscape.

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My Exploding House

1. My Exploding House, ink and marker on drafting film, 20"x20", 2012
2. My Exploding House #2, ink and marker on drafting film, 20"x20", 2014
3. Losing My Religion, marker and mixed media on panel, 12"x12", 2014

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