PBS Online Film Festival


Stacey Holloway

From hugs to high fives, this sculptor fabricates physical contact during quarantine

AIRED: July 12, 2021 | 0:05:02

(soft music)

- [Stacy] The whole series of work is kind of about

a longing for this physical connections,

because we're communicating

on such a distant level right now.

(soft music)

My name is Stacy Holloway,

I'm the assistant professor of sculpture at UAB,

but I'm also a local Birmingham artist.

The series that I've done

is called fabricated interactions during social distancing,

as soon as the current pandemic kind of hit,

I, started thinking a little bit more about

how we connect with each other and that this is a time

where we're not really allowed to do so.

I've done a series of kinetic sculpture

and wearable sculpture that would mimic

or simulate these physical connections

that we usually do with each others.

But thinking of the more kind of intimate

interactions that we share with like family members,

so, I'm really close to my mother,

so a lot of these, have to do with my mother

or missing, you know, the kiss of your grandma,

this very loving yet very aggressive way

that grandparents kiss you,

so I wanted to kind of simulate

that kind of quick smack on the cheek with the lipstick,

as for my mother, the two pieces that I made for her,

the first one was Eskimo kiss,

where I cast my nose and put it on a doorstop,

coz the rubbing of the noses is, it's very sweet and loving,

so, this is something that my mother used to do

when we were little, still does,

so, I kind of missed that physical interaction with her,

the lullaby piece where it's a headset,

where I have an old tape recorder,

so I got her on the phone and made her, sing

"You are my sunshine,"

which is a lullaby that she used to sing to us

when we were a little,

and it's kind of my fondest memory

of growing up with her as my mother is,

so that's kind of our song,

is that you are my sunshine songs.

So I recorded her seeing that,

and it's kind of distorted cause it's an old recorder.

♪You'll never notice how much I love you ♪

♪Please don't take, my sunshine away ♪

So, how I start making these,

is I begin with taking a mole off of my body

with rubber alginate, which is the same stuff

that the dentists use to take a mold off of your teeth,

from there, I have to cast

the body part

in a quick setting,

polyurethane plastic, and then from, I use silicone rubber

to take a mold off of that,

which then I can reuse that mold over and over,

that's where I'll use,

a silicone that is used for the film industry,

so it's supposed to simulate skin,

so you can also pigment it,

add pigment to it and tint it whatever you want.

So that's how I get the actual cast of the body,

so using that silicone,

so it does actually simulate human skin, the human touch,

and then from there,

I just build these kind of strange contraptions

out of scrap wood

or found objects from my house or from the studio,

until I kind of build these,

until I get the interaction that I want

or the movement that I want.

My new favorite sculpture from this series is the hug.

I've realized, you know,

a lot of people have said that, when you hug someone,

it kind of releases, you know,

some of these hormones or whatever,

it feels really good to hug somebody,

and so I think that one is my new favorite one,

because if you really,

you can actually kind of clench it tight

and it's nice and soft and plush.

High five is really satisfying,

the contraption that I made for the high five actually feels

really realistic and really satisfying.

That kind of became a ritual

when I left the studio every night

was to do a jump high five,

you know like good job in the studio today.

(soft music)


  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv