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Holly Parotti | The Bahamas

Born in 1972 in Nassau, The Bahamas,
Lives and works in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Painting, photography, gravure, video

Trained as a printmaker, Holly Parotti’s work has been trending toward the technological and the sculptural, a shift indicated by her 2008 exhibition “Boundaries”.

Yet whether etchings and silkscreen or video installations and book objects, her work has deep respect for process. The physicality implied in pulling a print, binding a book or editing film underlies the emotionally-driven aspects of her work, a deeply personal grappling that manifests itself in her finished products. The result is a body of work that, often uncomfortably, addresses themes of loneliness and security, the two-sided result of man-made boundaries.

Despite this, the human form barely appears in her work, the narrative instead driven by the objects and language we used to define our existences. In this way, Holly draws attention to the way we create the limits of our world and how these limitations define human relationships—the digital image of barbed wire against an open sky of fleeting clouds, the road sign with diverged arrows reading “only”, the lithographs of a fence that secures and traps an undefinable space. Such focus on seemingly everyday objects brings out their political nature as reflected by the paradoxes in human nature itself: the desire for human connection and the need for personal and emotional space.

Such work by Holly shifts these boundaries themselves; she has exhibited her work in elaborate physical installations (“Boundaries”) for public interaction and, on a more intimate scale, in books that either through their subject matter (“Buffering”’s shifting clouds) or material (“Flux”’s plexiglass pages) imply an undeniable ephermerality in such intangible personal boundaries and unnecessary physical ones.

It’s not right to say her work takes its viewers “outside” of such boundaries, for there is no “outside”, just “other sides” upon “other sides”; nor is it correct to say her work is “on the fence” as such deconstruction presupposes a particular defiance in the act itself; instead her work operates from within personal spaces themselves, spaces where the viewer, if they feel so inclined to expand their boundaries, can exist for a time in shared emotional exchanges.

Sonia Farmer, Founder Poinciana Paper Press, 2012

Holder of a BFA in painting and printmaking from the Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, USA (1997).

Holly Parotti got a scholarship from the Royal Over-Seas League in London, UK (2011).

She has also been assistant director and curator to the D’Aguilar Art Foundation in Nassau, since 2011. She was curator for several shows at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and for the Bahamian selection to the Liverpool Biennial in 2010.

Solo shows by Holly Parotti

Impact: Lynn & Holly Parotti at the Jacaranda House of Nassau, The Bahamas (2011) ; Holly Parotti: This is Not a Fairytale at the Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas (2011) ; Holly Parotti, A Collection of Etchings at the Café Europa of Nassau, The Bahamas (2006) and Holly Parotti “process: ink.pressure.paper” at the Post House Gallery of Nassau, The Bahamas (2005).

Collective Exhibitions

Deception: A Photography Invitational and Place Image Here. A Visual Discussion of the Relationship Between Text and Imagery at the Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas (2011) ; Afterimage : Engagements with the cinematic at Arnolfini in Bristol, UK, two-day event organized by the International Curators Forum (2011) ; God Save the Green at the Caledonian Club of London, UK (2011) ; A Sudden And Violent Change at the gallery The Hub in Nassau, The Bahamas (2010) ; 10 100 Dollar Chairs: form/function at the Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas (2010) ; alter world and Sixth Sense at the Gallery 6 in London, UK (2009) ; Sugar et Limit : new paintings and prints at the Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas (2008) ; Boxed : IN and Mixed Media at the galleries The Hub and The Ladder in Nassau, The Bahamas (2008) ; Safety Zones at the Diaspora Vibe Gallery in Miami, USA (2007) ; as well as several other collective shows at the Popopstudios in Nassau, The Bahamas.


Holly Parotti participated in several national exhibitions at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in Nassau : NE4 (2008), NE3 (2006).

Artworks by the artist

Holly Parotti | Passing ports

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Holly Parotti | Safety in Numbers

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Holly Parotti | Undercurrents

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