About the Artist
Hollis Chatelain was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but has lived most of her adult life overseas in Switzerland and in four West African countries. At the end of 1996, she moved back to the United States. Her current studio and home are in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Hollis' educational background is in design. She has worked in the arts in one form or another since 1976. Hollis started her career as a textile artist in Africa. Her interest was sparked by the richness and beauty of African fabrics which are ever so integrated into the everyday life of Africans. Her distinctive use of colors and imagery, as well as her dye-painted scenes of African life have brought her international recognition. Hollis' work can be found in public and private collections in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and North America.
In addition to creating her art quilts, Hollis frequently lectures and leads workshops on drawing, color, design, dye-painting, quilting, and West African textiles.
Much of my work is influenced by my personal experiences and by the environment I live in. I tend to view the world at very close range, finding lines, shapes, and colors that evoke an emotional response. A mood or atmosphere is created in each of my pieces, reflecting nature in strong, organic, or abstract forms. My dreams also provide me with an infinite supply of inspiration. When I am at peace, I dream images and color flows. When my life is chaotic, I dream people and events. My dreams are lucid and always in color. My abstract creations are made up of mysterious shapes which can be interpreted in many ways according to the personal imagination and experience of each viewer.
The twelve years I lived in Africa have deeply influenced me. Six months after moving back to the United States, my longing for Africa was so great that I started to paint African images in order to put me back into the life I loved so much. I feel American people should know more about the joy, harmony, and pride of the African people, rather than only hearing about the suffering and turmoil so commonly depicted in the media. I would like viewers to see my African imagery as a tribute to a people I truly admire and respect.