The Language of Lines

February 5th, 2016 – February 28th, 2016

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present The Language of Lines, featuring artwork by Holly Harrison.

The Language of Lines presents a collection of mixed-media pieces that focus on the interplay between the organic shapes and fluidity of birds and the geometry of repeated horizontal lines—painted, collaged and contained in imagery of human structures. 

Harrison began working with bird imagery about seven years ago, inspired by the poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens. She began with a series of collages, each one dedicated to a different stanza of the poem. Since then, she continues to compose her collages with the essence of poetry in the rhythms and melody of her work. 

Harrison’s M.A. in literature and creative writing, and many years spent as a professional writer, reveal themselves in the poetic sensibilities engrained in her Strata series, several of which are included in The Language of Lines show. Comprised of multiple bands of imagery and collage, the layers work like stanzas of modern verse, with bits of meaning half-hidden underneath like symbolism and subtext. In her newest series, The Language of Lines, Harrison moved from juxtaposing imagery to building a single image or a pair of blended images. What remains constant is the horizon line, which she carries over from collage to painted elements. Her finished pieces, like her process, show the way nature and order cohabit the spaces we navigate, just as birds flit in and out of human domain. 

Harrison’s favorite materials include samples of drawings made by her daughter, old paintings on canvas paper by her husband, and strips of semi-transparent screen mesh. She weaves them together in the slow buildup of layers that ultimately become a cohesive image.

Holly Harrison’s work has been featured at galleries and museums throughout New England and New York, and is held in private collections across the country. Most recently, she exhibited at Three Stones Gallery in Concord, MA.

The Language of Lines is a lyrical arrangement of the organic and the constructed, tied together by the lines of the horizon.