The residency is an opportunity to create a new body of work, while making connections and links with previous work informed by water pollution. For one series laundry detergents were studied, which evolved into more artwork using household chemicals. A similar process will be used to study seaweed found on Pico Island. The final works should have an abstract quality and possibly reference scenes during the glass bottom boat ride.
Seaweed is a marine organism capable of inhabiting a variety of ecological micro-climates. It’s often found near shorelines with rocky terrain. In order to survive, seaweed requires seawater and light. It is known for resilience, as many species have adapted to tolerate rapidly changing temperatures, salinity and drying. The substance is polyphyletic, as it can belong to 1 or several groups of algae and often classified for its uses such as food, filtration, fertilization and medicinal. A quick internet search, demonstrates there is work being done to replace plastics and develop new fabrics with seaweed. This is encouraging as there is deep concern about the volume of plastics making their way into oceans and other natural bodies of water. Textile waste in landfills is equally problematic. These types of environmental issues with links to consumerism inform and inspire works and projects in my artistic practice. Most of my artwork is photographic, but through projects such as the Garbage Dress Series and the Financial Peace Cranes, my work is starting to involve installation. During the shooting stages a lot of my photographic artwork involves a still life approach, influenced by abstract painting. Most of my work is informed by consumerism in relation to the environment. Household items, sometimes mixed with found or submitted objects are source materials.
Holly McClellan is an artist currently living in the Kawartha region of Ontario. She completed her B.A. in Fine Art at York University and her Applied Photography Diploma at Sheridan College. She spends lots of time in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. This area is known for it’s rich geographical and cultural history. The biodiversity at the edge of the St. Lawrence river and in the water itself, continues to attract locals and visitors today.