Entry Gallery


HOLLY SWANGSTU | Forgotten Soil

November 19, 2021  – January 2, 2022

The Entry Gallery Project Space series offers Arizona artists an intimate space for cohesive projects. Tucson artist, Holly Swangstu, employs thin strips of colorful hand-dyed cotton fabric in moody vertical and horizontal compositions that evoke the desert’s light, sky, and landscape.

“I am a landscape painter.

Though fabric is my primary medium, I have always been reluctant to call myself a “fiber artist.” When I work, I consider myself to be drawing and painting. I find joy in exploring line, color, mood, and expression, only I am using torn strips of hand-dyed fabric in lieu of traditional paint or pencil. Like many artistic approaches that utilize alternative media, my painting style is inextricably linked to a specific and rigorous process. The first step in that process is dying the fabric, which I liken to an oil painter grinding her own pigments from raw minerals, then adding the pigment to a binding agent to create the paint.

It is a slow and technical process that ultimately yields the raw materials from which my paintings can then be constructed. Creating the material to paint with is very much its own experience, and often quite apart from the creative act of developing an actual composition. I learned how to sew as a very young child. I spent college years and beyond making my own textiles, using both computerized and handlooms, I am very comfortable with slow and accretive work methods.

Though my art has departed from traditional weaving techniques, it still shares that decidedly tactile, very gradual, layering approach. Much like the frames of the looms I used to rely on, I stretch my strips of fabric across wooden armatures, carefully overlapping each one and allowing for frayed edges to add organic and textural interest. I often refer to the majority of my work as colorscapes; though evocative of the source of inspiration, most typically the sweeping landscapes of the Southwestern United States and Coastal Mexico, they are rarely directly referential to a specific location. My colorscapes are approached with the same attitude that someone else might write in a journal, documenting impressions and memories with an eye towards a personal, underlying narrative.

My goal, however, is never to focus specifically on journalistic detail, but rather to capture the feeling and emotional impact of nature, interpreting it into a largely abstract context.”


Arizona

hand dyed cotton on canvas

30″ h x 24″ w

$950

Birthday Memories

hand dyed cotton on canvas

6″ h x 6″ w

SOLD

Catalinas At Dusk

hand dyed cotton on canvas

36″ h x 12″ w

$525

Dry Air

hand dyed cotton on canvas

20″ h x 16″ w

$400

Evening Tide

hand dyed cotton on panel

5″ h x 7″ w

$65

Fractured

hand dyed cotton on canvas

28″ h x 28″ w

$1100

Gotta Get To The Beach

hand dyed cotton on canvas

12″ h x 12″ w

$175

Horizons

hand dyed cotton on canvas

12″ h x 16″ w

$275

Late July

hand dyed cotton on canvas

6″ h x 6″ w

SOLD

March Sunset

hand dyed cotton on panel

5″ h x 7″ w

SOLD

Pink Dust

hand dyed cotton on panel

5″ h x 7″ w

$65

Saguaro Study

hand dyed cotton on canvas

24″ h x 12″ w

$300

San Carlos; Reflections

hand dyed cotton on canvas

30″ h x 24″ w

$925

Secret Garden

hand dyed cotton on panel

48″ h x 96″ w

$10,000

Sonoita Sunsets

hand dyed cotton on canvas

28″ h x 12″ w

$420

Sphere Still Life Series # 1

oil and mixed media on canvas

10″ h x 10″ w

$185

Sphere Still Life Series # 2

oil and mixed media on canvas

12″ h x 12″ w

$250

Sphere Still Life Series # 3

oil and mixed media on canvas

10″ h x 8″ w

$165

Spring Green

hand dyed cotton on canvas

24″ h x 42″ w

$1200

Springtime In Winter

hand dyed cotton on canvas

32″ h x 48″ w

$1925

That Moment

hand dyed cotton on canvas

6″ h x 6″ w

SOLD

Trail Run

hand dyed cotton on canvas

9″ h x 12″ w

$135

Where The Desert Meets The Sea

hand dyed cotton on canvas

24″ h x 8″ w

$195


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