Maria Holland was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She graduated from the University of Waterloo Fine Arts program in studio specialization, Deans Honours list. She is the 2012 recipient of the UW Faculty of Fine Arts Departmental Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement and the 2012 Nancy Lou Patterson Award for drawing.
In my work, the body is employed as a vehicle to explore binary oppositions and what it means to be human. Working with images of the human form, and the materiality of the paint, I explore ideas of power, transparency, light and dark. The paintings question what is perceived as beautiful and acceptable or painful and pleasurable.
Images are sourced from contemporary magazines and surgical anatomy textbooks. These sources are chosen for their inherent beauty and suffering. The works are executed in watercolour, acrylic and ink, where the medium becomes an aid in making things both transparent and opaque. The mediums of watercolour, ink, acrylic, white paper, and canvas become metaphors for the beauty and darkness that I see in the world. I see the water as a vital element that can express pain or pleasure, and the image of the body becomes a vehicle in understanding this dichotomy. My work is an exploration of the beauty and darkness that I see in the world.