Holly Zandbergen, originally from New Zealand, has gained notable recognition as an emerging artist at a relatively young age of 27 years old. In 2013, she completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin. Holly’s inspiration for her painting stems from the desire to express her internal world in a way that feels true. In discovering her passion for painting at high school, Holly uses painting as a means of processing and transforming experiences absorbed in life. Through a natural handling of oil paint, what were intangible thoughts, feelings and sensations can now be materialised.
Holly employs a confident and distinctive style of painting as a means of exploring her internal landscape. Through the use of an impasto technique, she applies the paint instinctively, where variables such as speed, force and motion activate endless possibilities within each mark. Layers of glutinous oil paint are applied in a rhythmic manner, as vivid hues of colour intermingle across the surface. Painting has come to be about capturing what occurs within the present moment, reflecting the subtle layers of an authentic human response.
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Mount Cook, NZ
Sunrise Over the Southern Alps This painting captures the dramatic effects of light that can be found in the mountain ranges at certain times of the day. As the sun rises, the mountain face and its sheltering clouds are set aglow in vivid hues of pink and yellow. The viewer's eye is drawn downwards into the valley of the mountain, and then up above to its receding ridge line. The landscape as a whole is fragmented in staccato-like marks which imitate shafts of light cascading down the cliff face.
Reflections, Aoraki/Mount Cook Depicts the tallest mountain in New Zealand, seen across from a glacial lake. The oil paint is applied fluidly in an impasto manner, capturing an ‘aliveness' in the mountain range. The soft contours and colours blend into one another, subtly suggesting the presence of this powerful form. The overall impression is one of emergence where shifting marks and colour blur that of reality. It is as if the viewer is looking at a reflection of Aoraki/Mount Cook, not directly upon it.
Lake Pukaki With Aoraki/Mt Cook In The Distance With the sky set ablaze, Lake Pukaki and its surrounding landscape is brought to life with an illuminated Aoraki/Mount Cook in the distance. Sharp daps of oil paint scatter across the sky and hillside below, balancing one another with corresponding marks. Through the use of a complementary colour palette, a highly-charged energy in this scene is created.