Holland Houd




Surgical tools of the past have long captured public imagination as objects of intrigue and macabre fascination. Whether featured in cabinets of curiosity or medical museums, these devices evoke feelings of enticement and terror regarding their purposes and what these procedures must have felt like on a living body. This series of hand-fabricated medical instruments explores these devices as objects of art. Each piece draws out the tensions between the macabre and menacing versus the whimsical and alluring, as the playful colors contrast and help to alleviate the terrifying possibilities that you are about to die. They both exist in the future by conceptualizing a new type of anatomy and ways to mend the body, while also gesturing to the historical genre of memento mori objects and design.

Holland’s work focuses on medical implants, the body, and embodied experience.  Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, the Fuller Craft Museum, and many other museums and galleries throughout the world. Her work has been published in Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft, two Lark Books’ 500 Series, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets, SNAG’s A Body Adorned, Contemporary Jewelry in China, CAST, and elsewhere. Holland is the recipient of numerous best in show and other competitive awards, and she was a finalist for the inaugural Burke Prize at MAD. She is a former John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry resident, was the 2014-2015 Visiting Artist-in-Residence at the University of Iowa, and has also participated in artist residencies in Morocco and Berlin. Working closely with the medical industry, Holland has formed professional partnerships with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, MedWish International, Cleveland Clinic, and others. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University, BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stout, and is currently an assistant professor and art gallery director at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.

Holland has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

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