For artist Holly Lee, many of the works featured in her new solo exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum hold a special significance.
The Paper Boat Project
The Paper Boat Project began in 2020 during the pandemic. The concept came through an exploration of ideas that would add focus to my practice as chaos clamored and the virus forced us to shelter-in-place. With so much uncertainty, I needed an element in my practice that would ground me. I would keep making boats over and over until I had enough to release on a body of water once the virus dissipated and it was safe to be together again.
The boat form had been moving in and out of my visual vernacular for years through my artwork. Metaphorically, the boat transports us from one element to another, bringing us to safety or bringing us to danger. It was a perfect opportunity to bring my idea of the boat into three-dimensional form.
The first event of the Paper Boat Projects took place in April 2022 on Earth Day weekend. I launched the paper boats onto a farm pond in Stockton, New Jersey with friends and family around to celebrate the day. Being together and watching the quiet drift of the paper boats was good medicine for all of us.
The Paper Boat Projects continue with this immersive installation.