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Interview with Hollie Chastain: Artist and Treasure Hunter

February 4th, 2010 · 8 Comments

Hollie Chastain is a found paper and collage artist who pounds the pavement for the perfect (i.e. stained, ripped, doodle-covered) books and ephemera for her mixed media pieces. Her work is currently for sale at Nahcotta’s ETA 7 (one of her pieces was included in this week’s picks) and through her etsy shop, Dr. Kennedy Jones. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband and two children.

AH: Tell us a bit about your artistic process. Do you start with a specific idea for a piece or are you inspired by the found objects you use?

HC: It varies. Sometimes I will have a composition in mind and go scavenging for exactly what I feel is right for that particular piece.  Only about 10% of the time will the end result portray the initial idea exactly but if something has been hanging around in my mind for a long time, never changing, then i stick with it. The composition and subject for some of my pieces were imagined months before I stumbled across the perfect scrap of paper that it required. But most of the time i start with one really great sheet of paper or board and start building up, pulling shapes and ideas and characters from the different scribbles and splotches and colors i find. Some of my favorite pieces have started from nothing but a coffee-stained book cover and an amazing scrap of blue from a geography book that accidentally overlapped in a great way at the bottom of a crate.


AH: What inspires you to create?

HC: Oh man, so much! A shelf of random old junk in an antique shop where each item just seems to naturally fit with everything else as a whole, anthropomorphism, really brightly colored chipping paint on abandoned walls.  I’m drawn to natural textures and patterns caused from aging in any context but there is nothing like opening the cover on a textbook from the early 1900s and seeing water damage and speckled mold spots and scribbles. Music is a huge inspiration for me. I constantly have something on the ipod or stereo all the time especially when i’m working. and live music, of course. I come back from a show with lots of ideas. Most of all it’s simply people and the things they come up with when they’re only trying to entertain themselves and no one else. The silly and great things people do when they’re playing and exploring, moving from moment to moment with no end result in mind. (more…)

Picks of the Week: Treeees

January 29th, 2010 · No Comments