Modern Day Magic


The Art of Stuart Holland

By Kayli Corbin

Photos Kimberlee Miller

So much of this world’s art is fueled by questioning the boundaries we are all seemingly subject to. Art, as the great human connector, challenges our perspective of reality and our relationship with it. In this miraculous medium, we can imagine things unreal. We can push the boundaries of certainty and allow a basal curiosity to blossom. In this ethereal realm, we can allow preconceived perceptions to diminish and freely accept whatever emotion is elicited. Modern day magic exists in the unique worlds each artist creates, and Stuart Holland may well be such a magician.

Art has been a central aspect of Holland’s life and identity since he was a young child. Animals piqued his curiosity, and his attempts at replicating them pushed him to learn more about our natural world. Observing the kingdom of nature gave this young artist a place of spiritual acceptance and curiosity about the ‘rules’ that dictate our universe. Holland shares, “These explorations have remained a central focus of my art making practice and have grown to embrace inspiration from many different sources, seeking to make sense of existential themes that often seem beyond our grasp.”

The most comfortable description Holland can find of his art is contemporary surrealism. He finds inspiration in a balance of fact and fiction and is fascinated by the inescapable drive humans have to make sense of our world. Myths, legends, and historical artifacts are huge influencers in his work. Past narratives can be monumental in the realm of change. Holland says, “This exploration of the power of narrative is also informed by my interest in philosophy, meditation, neuroscience, quantum physics, and our pursuit of artificial intelligence. Each of these fields informs our perceptions of reality and holds a great deal of insight into how we approach narrative and identity can be applied on both individual and collective levels.” He hopes that his work can be a healing influence instigating deep contemplation into the ways we can change our own personal narratives, so that we may find deeper meaning in our lives and embrace interdependence.

To continue our point of transformation, you will notice gold dabbled throughout Holland’s work. Gold, with a long alchemical history rooted in material transformation, is a true reflection of the driving force behind this creative vision. The gold leaf used in his pieces adds a unique and dynamic aspect to the viewers contemplation of themselves as ever-evolving individuals and brings the pieces to life, playing with our perspective of light and reflection.

To find more of Holland’s work, view his website or his Instagram @_grave_witness_ The biography on his website so beautifully sums the entirety of his work, “Within this enigmatic plane, Stuart’s work explores the concepts of Self, consciousness, and the ultimate nature of Reality. Riddled with vast landscapes, monolithic architecture, and thought-provoking voids, it is often difficult to discern if these environments exist in the physical realm, are mental fabrication, alternate realities, or are glimpses into a higher dimension of consciousness.”