Ahead of Strada’s first LA show, Summer '16, we had the chance to speak with exhibiting artist Gwen Hollingsworth on her moody color palette, how she got into the arts, and what inspires her practice.
Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and what brought you to art.
A: I am a painter born and raised in Los Angeles. Art is always something that I’ve done and been drawn to since I was very young. When I was younger I just enjoyed drawing flowers and plants and things and it’s funny that that is the subject matter I am still creating. I’ve always wanted to be an artist and it really started because I liked the feeling of being able to accurately document the things and places around me as a sort of record. Now that I do more abstracted work it’s more about creating representations of interna phenomena.
Q: When did you develop your current color palette and what draws to it?
A: I started working with a darker palette around 2019 when I became very interested in creating nocturnal paintings. I was interested in this term ‘psychogeography’ which is the study of the influence of external environments on internal behavior, and that led me into thinking about how night and darkness as an external factor influence not only our perceptions on the space around us but also perhaps on our internal truths and experiences. That thinking has kind of evolved and now the dark palette is a way of referencing a type of void and space of potentiality wherein new paradigms and modes of thinking can take place.
Q: I would love to hear more about the inspiration for the works you are showing in this exhibit.
A: Recently I’ve been making a lot of fire paintings as a way of one, referencing the fires that are becoming really commonplace in California and a lot of regions in the U.S., as well as a way for me to think about birth and death cycles. Fire spiritually represents a duality of destruction and rebirth, and making these works is a way for me to reaffirm the possibility of fire as a regenerative force.
Gwen Hollingsworth (b. 1998 Los Angeles, CA; based in Los Angeles, CA) uses drawing and painting to highlight the psychology of space and its impact on our personal realities in an effort to create new visual and spiritual paradigms. Her practice explores phenomena in the natural world as a way of seeking sanctuary and self knowing.
She has participated in exhibitions at Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; and Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles. She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020.
Thank you Gwen for letting us into your mind and sharing your world with us. 💙
For more about the artist, check out her website and her IG.