1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Holly and I am the maker behind Son of Pear. I grew up in a very rural town on an Island at the very top of Scotland called Orkney. Looking back, I have many fond memories of my formative years in this small community, so much freedom to get up to hijinks. Despite growing up in such a remote place we all had so many opportunities, one that has really influenced me was the local Gallery, The Pier Arts Center. From a very young age I was exposed to amazing works of art from the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Alan Davie and my cousin Sylvia Wishart. All these artists are known for bold and expressive works of art that are very influential to what I make today.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I love colour and form, objects or images that have a human touch but at the same time have refined finish. I love it when you can see personality in works of art, not just another object off a production line.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Over the past 3 years, I have had an absolute passion for ceramics, the whole process of forming earth with your own hands to a refined glossy glazed piece of art. Ceramics does have a double edge, i think for every piece that is a success i have experienced many failures, cracks, explosions, bubbling glaze. Through this process you definitely learn patents and to go with the flow, that’s what I love about ceramic. High risk, big rewards… when it works out.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I work a lot in my head, I think and let an idea stew before even touching clay. I very rarely sketch, I’m afraid of overworking an idea. I prefer to think it over, waiting till the idea solidifies and then when the moment strikes I dive into the bag of clay. I think this is an important process to me because the next few stages of working with ceramics is very slow, so it’s nice to have a burst of creative output.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Like I mentioned before the artists from my hometown Galler have really left an impression and maybe even Orkney itself. The constant crashing of the ocean waves and the tangles of brightly coloured fishing nets and ropes, can definitely be seen subtly in my work.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is everywhere, whether created by a person or by nature and I love it. I was always fairly good at art as a child and to be known as the ‘arty’ person was like a badge of honor. As you grow you learn art is not a competition and everyone has a different opinion on what art is, which is great. Art is a conversation between the viewer and the artist, it’s a feeling, you like some or don’t like others, you can also change your mind. I think this idea is relevant to everything in life and it’s a good way to be.
7. Where did you study?
I studied 4 years of Fashion Design for Industry, sounds great but the reality was my time working at LFW was much more Educational.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would love to think I could have my very own kiln and massive studio space that I could make a mess of.
9. What about in ten?
Ultimate dream would be to have a bricks and mortar studio/shop, where the customer can see where the magic happens as well as supporting other makers in a retail environment.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Practically to provide a living for myself but what is also very important is to express myself creatively, i really need that outlet in my life. The hopeful perks would be to create work that brings people joy and to make art affordable.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
My ultimate favorite food of the moment is Korean soups, especially yukgaejang, spicy and warming! I can also never escape a craving for a wood oven pizza with nduja.
12. Favourite book?
The outrun by Amy Liptrot, harrowing, beautiful and very close to home!
13. Favourite genre of music?
This is hard, I love all sorts from 80s synth, modern rap, chillwave, metal. Every day i listen to Aesop Rock who is a rapper and then to mellow out synthy Chrome Canyons.
14. What are your hobbies?
I used to love swimming but the pandemic has taken that from most of us. I have found a new joy in creating very involved dinner, maybe that can count as a hobby, I do like eating and drinking.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
As a child i was adamant i would be a Marine Biologist, as a teen it was a Dentist. Silly answer would be shark dentist but the reality would probably be buying for a fashion and lifestyle retailers.