Holly FarrellThe Album Project
This exhibition is my tribute to classic albums that, for me, defined the 70s - iconic albums that helped to shape an era, a generation.
All of my work is tethered to memory, how it shapes us, how things common to us all, like music, continue to hold sway over us. I like that a song can pull out long forgotten ’things’ - memories that are attached to feelings, faces, places. Typically I paint Still Life, but it seemed a natural progression to go through my vintage vinyl collection and want to do paintings of the records I grew up with.
My first record paintings were a response to strong memories connected with each one. In painting them it was my hope that they would evoke a similar reaction in others…that each person would hear the music and fall back for a few moments, to when they first heard the songs, to where they were, who they were with, how they felt. I wanted to paint in the physical history of these records - the sleeves, the wear, the patina, the softened corners - the impression of the vinyl within pushing out onto the cover. All evidence of long lives these past 50 or so odd years. I suppose the lives of these records from my collection, run parallel to mine - similarly I am a bit worn, a few wrinkles - a reflection of where I’ve been, who I am.
The response to these first few paintings was encouraging, but almost always the discussion would eventually turn to whether or not I needed permissions to do these paintings. Though I see the work as in line with my Still Life, combined with ’the idea’ of Portraiture, it wasn’t something I had considered. I decided then, in 2019, that I had to be able to answer this question - I decided that I would only paint albums that I had received approvals for.
Thus began The Album Project.
So, two years later, hundreds of emails later, many phone calls across the globe…I have connected with musicians, managements, labels, lawyers, estates, cover artists, whoever it was necessary to connect with for each album…I have been quietly persistent and genuine in my quest.
So, two years later I have the permissions needed, hard won, of the paintings that I love so much.
I’d like to thank everyone who made this show possible. I’d like to thank the people who eventually tired of me and put me on to someone who made an approval possible. I’d like to thank those who ignored me, forcing me to re-route my line of inquiry that in turn ended in success, I’d like to thank those who finally understood that all I wanted was to paint how I felt about each of these albums - how I felt about the music.
I would especially like to thank those who took the time, right away, to say yes.
Note: Reproductions strictly prohibited. Images remain property of Holly Farrell and singers/bands.
HOLLY FARRELL: The Album Project, New Paintings