REVIEW: "Unheimlich" an exhibition by Holly Rozier

by Abi Bowen

‘Unheimlich’, it means ‘uncanny’, ‘familiar, yet unfamiliar’ and ‘concealed, out of sight’ and Holly Rozier’s sculptures site perfectly within this space halfway between beauty and horror.

The show is a site specific exhibition, which includes some older pieces alongside a large window installation that evokes Bacon’s meat carcasses and Goya’s dismembered ‘Disasters of War’. Yet, upon closer inspection, seductive details become apparent and the beauty of the materials and sheer scale and quality of the craftsmanship is absorbing.

"Holly is clearly a master of her craft and the painstaking attention detail is breathtaking."

Intricate layers of detail emerge and are revealed. From ghostly imprisoned portraits to jabberwocky texts. All bound together into these amorphic decapitated forms.

I also found the inclusion of the sketchbook pages and other texts absorbing and informative. Holly references Louise Bourgeois and Sigmund Freud directly, yet I am also reminded of Rebecca Horn’s body modifications and Sylvia Plath’s descriptions of ‘pinched skin’ and ‘glassy eyes’ as well as various horror movie creatures.

“Susan Postal, the American anthropologist, identifies the body’s surface as a crucial boundary which differentiates self from other. When it courses through one’s veins, blood is integral to one’s being. When it leaves the envelope of the flesh it becomes alien. “

Overall, it is a small, yet well conceived exhibition with the site specific piece working particularly well. Holly is an accomplished artist, clearly passionate about her medium, but equally she is able to explore that fine line between attraction and repulsion with confidence and skill. Ultimately, she speaks to our senses and our fears and understands that the ultimate horror is, of course, found within ourselves.