Hollis Polk, San Francisco Member Since December 2008 Artist Statement Hollis Polk Artist’s Statement
I have loved photography since I was 14, having been lent a B&W SLR camera by my father. Unfortunately, getting 1 or 2 good photos from a roll of film made photography a very expensive hobby.
I have loved quilts since my teens as well, even making a couple of large ones with simple designs to account for my minimal sewing skills and lack of room to work.
Then came digital photography – I could take photos to my heart’s content & only print those I really liked. I became fascinated by detail, texture & color.
One day, looking at my texture photos on my camera, it occurred to me that nature’s textures, when reduced to 2 dimensions instead of 3, looked a lot like calico fabric. Eureka! I could make quilts from my photos!
Nature’s Quilts are more complicated than they look. In order to make them, I had to
• Take over 11,000 photos of nature • Sort the photos by color so I can find them • Learn the software • Find the traditional quilt patterns on which most are modeled • Make templates on my computer for each pattern • Create each unique design by populating a template with pieces of several photos, sizing and rotating each piece of each photo to suit each location in the template. • Print the design and frame it, make it into a card, etc. (I do all this myself.)
Eventually, Nature, herself, wanted to become the art, without the structure of the quilt designs. In order to do these, I had to
• Take even more photos (I think I’m over 12,000 now)! • Learn different software • Cut individual items out of the photos – I have a library of almost 300 individual objects – and counting! • Make each mandala by allowing the objects to tell me what they would like to be, & how they would like to be positioned and oriented. • Print the design and frame it, make it into a card, etc. (I do all this myself.)
The process of making each individual piece of art is a meditative one, and quite healing for me.