We had the good fortune of connecting with Hilly Holsonback and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hilly, how do you think about risk?
To be an artist is to take risks. I’ve always centered my practice around risk-taking. Examining the order in which things are typically done is crucial to developing your own practice and rules. Understanding there is no right way has given me the freedom to move around in realms I should have no business existing in. That’s the wonderful thing about risk-taking…to jump into mediums unknown is to work against your better judgment. Let these very risks inform your work. My photo work has evolved by decorating it with these outsider experiences. Something as simple as changing the roles of your tools can feel risky but lead to a burst of new ideas.  

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a multimedia artist playing with photos, videos, performance art, movement art, and experimental theater (so far). I tend to avoid labels and branding because they don’t have meaning for me. I see art as freedom. Freedom from rules. Freedom to go slowly and decorate. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with future collaborations and personal projects. If you’re an artist with an idea and want to collaborate, reach out, and let’s talk. Ideas get me excited. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a handful of champions during my career – all of which have played important roles in landing me opportunities to be seen and heard around the world. Because of this support system, I’ve met so many inspiring artists that lead me to new ways of thinking and looking at my own work. You should never be afraid to experiment and evolve. Put yourself out there. I believe that’s how you keep the art world on its toes, at least that’s what I’ve allowed myself to embrace. Deprogram your understanding of how the art world operates – rewrite the rules for yourself, unabashedly leap into the void and break the institution. I’m excited to see what becomes of it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Monday – Drive out to a field in Waxahachie and have a picnic/tea party. Tuesday – Walk from one city border to another. Meet people along the way, ask them their story, and buy them a burger. Wednesday – After that walk, you’ll need a rest. Eat Tex Mex and make a collage in bed. Thursday – Look up local events in dance, poetry, exhibitions, live music, and take the artists out for dinner. Friday – Rent a limousine and driver. Make an indistinguishable national flag to attach to the car. Purchase returnable ornate gowns from Neiman Marcus. Cruise the town, enter and exit the poshest places while you watch the locals stare in amazement. Saturday – Go to a local bar in a Dallas suburb and strike up a conversation with strangers. Follow them on their excursions for the rest of the evening. Sunday – People watch under a tree and have a rest.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Special thanks to all the women in the local Dallas art scene and beyond who continue to inspire me.

Website: www.hillyholsonback.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hillyholsonback/

Image Credits
Jason Flowers & Brittany Gryder Alisa Eykilis

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