12 x 10 inches, cyanotype and pencil on paper, edition of 5 unique works
Notes on All the Flowers at LACMA
Drawing from observation. Quiet galleries, AC pumping. Elevator doors opening and closing. Flowers hidden on the Buddha’s soles of the feet. In the headdress of a dancing skeleton carrying a bowl of eyeballs. In someone’s hair, on the ground, on a frame, in a hand. Patterned into a wall or carpet. Wildflowers growing under the gory crucifixion of a martyred saint. Working – using another place as my studio. How many galleries are there? Buy a stool. Islamic collection currently travelling. Flowers made by unnamed craftsmen centuries ago. Is a pineapple or a pomegranate a flower? A pinecone? A cabbage? Heraldic fleur-de-lys. Meaningless space-fillers. Loose blobs and brushstrokes. Fanciful, realistic, geometric. Flowers like trumpets. “Eternal Spring” by Rodin —male and female making love, no flowers. Beach scene, no flowers. Gray city scene, no flowers. Trying not to erase. Fiery, triumphant Monet “Nympheas.” Drawings keep getting smaller and smaller. The problem of drawing a brushstroke. Just a few dabs of paint identifiable as a particular flower—Queen Ann’s lace, iris, whatever. The same perky little five-petaled flower over and over. Console from the 1700's with more than twenty types of flowers inlaid in stone. Winter scene, no flowers. Game market – artichoke. Glass, stone, paint, wood, fabric, silver, gold, ceramic, bronze, tapestry, albumen silver print. Shiva the Dance of Furious Bliss, the Lord of the Dance, Lord of Eclipses—bouquet of flames in one hand. Ship on a stormy sea – no flowers. Dutch still life—feathery iris and peonies so realistic I can smell them.
Hadley Holliday is based in Los Angeles where she has worked for 12 years as a teaching artist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Alongside her abstract painting practice she recently began the project of drawing all the flowers at LACMA with a series of contour line drawings in pencil. After several months, she has made it through two-thirds of one building. She is using the drawings to generate a series of mixed-media paintings and cyanotype solar photograms using sand, burlap and plant debris from her yard.
Holliday received her MFA from Cal Arts and an MA in art museum education from the University of Kansas. Her paintings have been exhibited internationally, including in solo exhibitions at Taylor de Cordoba Gallery, Carl Solway Gallery and SolwayJones.