Holly Cahill


Holly Cahill draws inspiration from the spaces we inhabit within our shared environment. Rather than referencing any one place, the visual seams and illuminated marks in her works point to patterns drawn from construction frames hidden beneath the walls of buildings and the various functions of rooms. She is fascinated by the idea of a portal that can be defined in architecture and science fiction as a passage way for the body from one space to the other. The marrying of this concept of a portal that can bend rules of time and space with its more mundane counterpart in architecture creates a space to consider the possibilities of things beyond our comprehension yet in relationship to what is in front of our eyes.

Trained as a painter, Holly Cahill uses an exploration of materials and process to engage with ideas connected to choreography, landscape, hyper-dimensional phenomena, and architecture. Her work has been shown at Penn State University, DEMO Project, Chicago Artist Coalition, the David and Reva Logan Center for the Arts, D Gallery, The Franklin, the Hyde Park Art Center, and the Walter Philips Gallery in Banff Canada, among others. She received her BFA in painting from Syracuse University and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati. She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, 8550 Ohio, the Banff Centre, and Ox-Bow. Holly is an artist member of the newest branch of Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Chicago.



Residency Period:

Jun 2018–Jun 2018

Project Statement:

As an artist in residence at Spudnik Press Cooperative, I plan to develop a new series of work that builds off of forms and processes utilized in my painting and drawing practice. My painting practice is often sculptural and I would like my works on paper to investigate a more three-dimensional component. I have been using sprayed ink and transfer processes for sometime in my works on paper and canvas. More recently, I began to use paper as a form of resist in my paintings as I cover the surface of the canvas. The paper, which becomes saturated with ink in the painting process is cut or torn and then reused in a series of collages. I am particularly fascinated by the luminous pixellated, atmospheric quality that I can achieve with spray ink and want to bring this element into a series of prints through acquatint techniques. There is also a layering process in my works on paper and canvas, that I would love to develop more through printmaking by using reflective and transparent inks. In the print studio, I also plan to experiment with textured papers that can be molded, torn, and reassembled to lift off the two-dimensional plane. These abstractions mimic clusters of soft natural environments and patterns that would then be altered by inserting geometric elements that refer to built environments such as the home, religious spaces, monumental architecture and gardens that form a bridge between interior and exterior spaces.
Image: Holly Cahill, Through the Eaves, 2013 (detail).