Full Artist's statement
Elizabeth Holtry’s recent work consists of hand-stitched “drawings” of marginalized animals such as hyenas, rats, bats, and vultures. These unloved animals have been vilified in folklore and popular culture, portrayed as tricksters and scavengers. Likewise, Holtry’s chosen medium, embroidery, has long been associated with women’s work and domesticity. In uniting these outcasts—unpopular animals and unfashionable handcraft—Holtry’s work invites us to reexamine objects of minimal prestige. Her representation of pariahs through the traditional art of embroidery challenges our aesthetic prejudices and seeks to reclaim these animals as complex creatures worthy of compassion and awe.