While I'm originally from Little Rock, AR, I feel very at home where I now reside and work, right here in New Orleans. I grew up in a household where expression through creativity was encouraged. Art has also been a part of big chunks of my professional life. I never thought of myself as an artist. It took a while, a long while, but finally, my artistic medium made itself known to me.
Travels to places with deep-rooted culture as well as life experiences with people from varied backgrounds stir a desire in me to create. The inspiration for my work is fed by feelings of global community - where people are tied together by a common desire to know another and be connected through relationships despite differing exterior appearances and life experiences.
This mix of experiences comes out in my work through collage - just as each of us is a collage of varied experiences. Life is a collage; I like that.
Inspired by the beautiful sentiment and insight that comes from mandalas, from the practice of meditation, many of my pieces are created in such a form, with the strong intention being a part of the process. The mandala is a round shape with mostly symmetrical designs (but not always). Mandalas have their origin in Hinduism and Buddhism…used in meditation for focusing attention on something or someone in particular. In the modern world, many cultures use this tool for spiritual enlightenment. Mandalas are the mainstay of my work, but I have ventured out creating images of other sources of inspiration.
We see mandalas all around us…in the shape of a nautilus shell, the earth, a labyrinth or even a flower. Daily wonders that we may take for granted are often much more amazing than we give credit for and can often be very inspiring; at least I find it to be so. I like to think about art this way; art as a microcosm of the universe from an enlightened perspective.
My work is mixed media collage using handmade papers and copper bits - all put together with lots of love and happiness.
Holly Heine is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Marleyville-Fountainbleau neighborhood.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
textured, eclectic, colorful
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
New Orleans is the first place I've ever lived where I feel a person can completely be themselves. I choose to believe there is very little judgment going on here because part of what is attractive to EVERYONE who loves New Orleans is that there is such a diversity in our city. I can choose to be noticed for my differences or to live in anonymity. It's up me and I enjoy having that choice. My creativity is peaked in this environment.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
Sometimes it takes me a while to get the thing that I feel and sometimes I can't wait to finish one and get on to the next. However the thing happens and when it happens there is a sense of urgency. Like I've got this particular image or paper that I have to turn into something.
I start out putting my basic color pallet together, gathering papers that I feel compliment one another or tell my story. Get that initial thing that created the urgency laid out. Then, it's a matter of embellishing the story. Everything is cut first, laid out, taken apart and then reassembled with glue. At that point, it just seems obvious to me where the copper belongs.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I am inspired by everything and everyone, particularly anything of wonder...the wonder within nature, the wonder within relationships, the wonder within the journey we each follow in our own individual way. Or sometimes, it's just as simple as the materials in front of me...I see a particular combination of papers and i just HAVE to make something out of them!
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I'm the singer-songwriter type. Makes sense because there is an emotional story attached to every piece I make.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
I work for a local non profit in community revitalization and I really like my back yard.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
Adorn & Conquer