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Hollye Maxwell

Hollye is a firm believer in the healing power of nature. She grew up in the deep south and spent much of her time in the woods behind her grandmother’s house, climbing trees and wading in the creek, catching various creatures to examine before releasing them again. Later, with pen, pencil and crayon, she’d draw from memory those bugs and birds and things in loving detail. Coined biophilia by Edward O. Willson, this love of the natural world stayed with her through six years of art school at Georgia State University and the University of Memphis, and over 20 years as a working artist. Though she has traded tree climbing for bird watching, and the creek wading for shinrin-yoku (Japanese Forest Bathing), she still girlishly and gleefully pays close attention to the diversity of flora and fauna all around her, faithfully rendering them using more adult media.  There is a long and varied tradition of depicting the natural world in art, one that goes back 40,000 years to mammoths drawn on cave walls, through Greek pottery, Muslim tile designs and renaissance backdrops, but “nature art” took a decidedly useful turn in the 16th century when early scientists drew highly detailed pictures of plants and animals to record data about the natural world and help describe their experiments. It is this style that Hollye employs in her MAP series of mind-altering plants.  Although photography, x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging have taken its place in scientific data collection, botanical drawing has remained a fascination for viewers of art and history through such media as the Audubon Society and Taschen’s Cabinet of Curiosities books. Hollye updates the form by bringing together plants of modern interest with the science behind them, depicting not just the intricate hairs of the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa) but also the chemical composition of THC and cannabinol that provide some of the plant’s most useful components. All of them drawn with the fidelity and skill expected of the botanical drawing genre. Today, science is finally starting to really understand the usefulness of these plants in their natural states. Not just as storehouses of chemicals to be synthesized in laboratories, monetized and marketed to the wealthy, but as accessible remedies for everyone’s daily needs, available from your herb garden. Philosophers and psychologists are now using mind-altering plants as creative enhancers for the growth of society as a phenomenon inextricably linked to the natural processes of the planet. “It is my hope that we, as a society, will realize the importance of these plants and learn to use them to advance our understanding of ourselves and our interconnectedness with our world.” - Hollye Maxwell The materials for the original art are watercolor, colored pencil, and walnut ink on Fabriano hot-press paper. What you see before you are giclée prints of the original artworks. A giclée print uses archival ink to reproduce artwork. It is guaranteed to last at least one hundred years.

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