I am a visual storyteller. The form of the narrative has been used for centuries to entertain, to preserve culture and to instill morals. Stories can be used to bridge cultures, languages and age barriers. Similar to Aesop, my interests lie in the animal realm and I use specific animal attributes to explore how our formative process make up who we might become, or who we are attempting to become. Within the animal kingdom, strong societies are formed within herds, unusual interspecies friendships and adaptation is required, pure instinctual capabilities are necessary for survival, and body language, sounds and scents are used to declare disfavor, profess love, announce dominance, and express pain. Bestial forms, architectural drafting and installations then become the place for metaphors and narratives of uncertainty and longing.
“Ethology,” the study of animal behavior with the emphasis on patterns that occur in natural environments, is one model that explores our socio-biological instincts—what drives us to seek similarity and to find our “tribes.” In a recent TedTalk, Frans de Waal, a Dutch/American biologist and ethologist, describes the parallels of moral behavior between primates and humans. De Waal discusses his observations of chimpanzees’ tendency towards reconciliation, leading him to investigate the two essential pillars of morality in the animal kingdom: reciprocity and empathy. These traits can be valued as biological products rather than exclusively deriving from religion, civilization, or tradition. I explore the innate connections between animal and human societies/tribes. Imparting human traits onto animals or expounding human culture through metaphor and allegory breaks apart the perceived divisions between the human and non-human organism. Art can visualize this deconstruction of the human as beast, as well as our conception of “beast” entirely.
Stacey M. Holloway received her MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2009, her BFA from Herron School of Art and Design/IUPUI in 2006, and became the Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2013.
Holloway is an active national installation-based artist and sculptor that focuses on the transformation and growth on individuals as they mature. Through the exploration of storytelling and ethology, she constructs sculptural stills that represent anxieties and fears that collide with a world of ambiguous subconsciousness.
Holloway has exhibited throughout the Midwest, South and East Coast in galleries such as Wayfarers, Brooklyn, NY; FM Gallery, Chicago, IL; Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, IN; Huntsville Museum of Art, AL; and the South Bend Museum of Art in Indiana. Holloway has received distinguished awards such as the 2017 SECAC Artist’s Fellowship; the 2010 Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship through the Efroymson Family Fund: Central Indiana Community Foundation in Indianapolis and the Juror’s Choice Award at the “Red Clay Survey: 2014 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art” at the Huntsville Museum of Art.