Dolly Hope

‘The Universe in a Wild-flower’


This season we were given “montage” as a general theme and with encouragement from the Factory mentors, I began to explore the creative possibilities of this medium. I was introduced to many inspiring artists during the process, particularly Tony Oursler who I found to be a huge inspiration and a fantastic starting point for my project. Oursler creates an incredible sense of space by using a combination of sculptural pieces, sound, light, photography and video projection. His choice of materials is also fascinating as he uses a lot of man-made components which come in stark contrast to the organic textures I like to use in my own work. He captures a claustrophobic and surreal atmosphere which is something I wanted to recreate in my own work.

In this project, my aim was to highlight the tedium and hollowness of a life lived without an open mind; by drawing parallels between human monotony and worker bees whose whole existence is consumed with the collection of pollen and protection of their queen. The point I am making is this: without a true appreciation of beauty are we anything more than animals ourselves? Albeit intelligent animals but nonetheless creatures like any others. What makes a human is the ability not just to see but comprehend.

I wanted to explore the notion of a life cycle - birth, growth, decay, death -  the pregnant figure made of mock honeycomb, symbolizes new life, fertility, creation. The flowers in full bloom represent the zenith point of the cycle before the inevitable decay sets in, and this was represented by the gradual change of light intensity in the video - from light to dark.

I am fascinated by the idea of birth and decay as entropy is neither subject to time nor place but applies to everything - we all have this universal fate. So the piece was ultimately a comment on not letting work become the sole purpose of living – like the bees which live, work without rest, produce and then die.

Since my interests lie in model making I attempted to combine these skills with digital techniques. Although I am not particularly accomplished in any digital medium yet, with guidance and support from the mentors, producer and artists in residence, I managed to transform my model into what I hope is an interesting experimental piece. I was particularly excited to use projections for the first time as I wanted to create a sense of transience between the tangible and the abstract.

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When Dolly was eleven her family moved from Newcastle, the city where she was born and raised, to the Tyne Valley in appreciation of its natural beauty. Nature and the study of nature has long been a huge part of Dolly’s life; it is a common theme throughout her art work. Organic structures and the cycles in nature have been a fascination of hers for as long as she can remember. But despite the move to the country side, Dolly tried to remain engaged with the activities and opportunities more readily available to her in the city. And so it was, that through word of mouth she was recommended to visit ‘The Factory’.  Dolly has now been a member of the Factory for a year and has been involved in two exhibitions. In the ‘Liminal Spaces’ showcase (2012) she created a tree sculpture which was part of a video and light installation and her work was also featured in the book accompanying the exhibition.

Being a part of the Factory has been a great experience for Dolly; it has allowed her to meet like-minded people and has opened doors to new opportunities. She has recently graduated from further education where she studied Fashion and Textiles and she is now moving into higher education to start a Model Making degree.  She wants to develop her skills in creative making and digital modeling as her ambition is to work in the film and television industry.