Portrait of the Artist

Dawn Holder

End of the Anthropocene

By Noelani Kirschner | June 10, 2019
<em>The Trouble with Nostalgia (The cadaver is its own image)</em>, 2017-2018, Concrete, wood, plaster, porcelain, topsoil, found fake turf, found shrub, 6’ x 6’ x 10’ 6”
The Trouble with Nostalgia (The cadaver is its own image), 2017-2018, Concrete, wood, plaster, porcelain, topsoil, found fake turf, found shrub, 6’ x 6’ x 10’ 6”

Dawn Holder, an associate professor of art at the University of the Ozarks, works in various media and describes herself as “a scavenger and a gleaner, as much as a maker.” The Trouble with Nostalgia, a standing altarpiece of sorts, was born out of found-concrete, tiny porcelain sculptures, AstroTurf, and petrified foliage. Each grub, wriggling within dehydrated earth, was formed by hours and hours of Holder rolling inches of porcelain clay. (Though, these meticulously detailed grubs are nothing compared to a previous work, Always Greener, in which Holder formed over 100,000 individual blades of to-scale porcelain grass.) She rescued the piece of shrubbery from a trash bin and took it home to use in a future art project. The broken blocks of concrete were foraged from Holder’s town, Clarksville, Arkansas.

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