SAMSTAG ALUMNI 1997

Steven Holland
Born 1960, Dwellingup, Western Australia 

One theory of human evolution has a seedeating hominid, Ramapithecus, as the crucial ancestor of Homo sapiens, leaving the forests ten million years ago to develop the dexterities and uprightness which then distinguished him from other animals of comparable intelligence. Along the way, human dependence on animals for their utilitarian value as food, clothing, tools and labour has been well-nigh absolute. And although our timeless relationship with them often elevates animals socially to the status of servile companions and, culturally, as mock humans in myths and moral fables (witness Babe), they are more fundamentally understood and fixed from the aloof perspective of anthropocentricism.

Steven Holland apprehends these assumptions, inviting us to considerately explore and contemplate the otherness of nonhuman lives and also, through this, our disengaged relationship to nature. In The Fox and The Moon's Reflection, the strewn fibreglass corpses of feral animals, layered with pale bandaids, evoke both the actual predicament of introduced animals in Australia and our tethered European connection to them, socially and culturally.

Past Tense / Future Tense recasts the suffocated Pompeii dog in multiples of prototypical death, a frequent condition of Holland's animals. These dead dogs, museologically sorted, shelved and classified, illustrate the canon of empirical separation.

Ross Wolfe from the 1997 Samstag catalogue, Elephant Poo
 
1997 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
1997 Post Experience Program, Royal College of Art, London
1995 Master of Arts (Visual), Canberra School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
1989 Postgraduate Diploma in Art and Design, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
1985 Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts), Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
1980 Associate Diploma in Art Education, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia 

Artist's website
http://www.stevenmarkholland.com.au/