States of Matter, Review - A-N Magazine

TRACEY HOLLAND: STATES OF MATTER

Fo11y, Lancaster
26 March -7 May
‘States of Matter’ explores themes inspired by the story of The Almond Tree by the Brothers Grimm. The story begins, as all good stories do, with “A long time ago…” yet goes on to tell the less predictable tale of a tree that enables Immaculate Conception, absorbs bones and gives birth to a
beautiful bird. The installation features a short film, a new medium for Holland and a significant departure explored in this project, as well as a series of photographic transparencies, recognisable
from Holland’s previous exhibitions.
The clinical environment created by the display of transparencies, lit from behind like x-rays, draws a close examination of each piece. The scientific and functional approach to the presentation and the seemingly microscopic analysis of the subject matter is contrasted, on closer inspection, revealing the emo­tional and mythological content through the intricate layers of photographic images, found objects and markings.

The ethereal and feminine quality of the film determines the concept of memory, destruction and release from pain. The film begins simply and qui­etly, enchanting the audience with the softened image of the female and the tree. As the written story continues to pick up pace, so too does the film and the powerful narrative is captured in
the multiple layering of both images and sound, contrasting what are perceived to be controllable aspects of
human behavior, against the uncon­trollable energy of natural phenome­non. It concludes with a return to the physical and the positive tranquility of the tree, leading the audience to ques­tion the so-called happily-ever-after ending and whether they choose to believe in it.
This successful development into a new media is confidently composed with great sensitivity and careful con­sideration and serves as a revealing insight into the documentation, opera­tion and movement achieved in the production of the printed works.

Claire Norcross
a-n magazine June 2004