Holly Ballard Martz

Oct 15 – Nov 15th,  2020


dimensions variable, dressmakers’ hams, steelpins, sequins, glass beads

“This year, 2020, marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19 th Amendment to the US Constitution, asserting women’s right to vote. Much progress has been made in the fight for women’s equality in the intervening years, and this is a milestone to be celebrated, yet we are far from a level playing field. It is estimated that it will take an additional two hundred years to eliminate the gender pay gap. Reproductive rights are in jeopardy, maternal mortality is on the rise, and globally 75% of unpaid work is done by women.
This labor falls primarily within the domestic sphere.

For DIRTY LAUNDRY & DOMESTIC BLISS, I transformed objects associated with domestic labor, traditionally the purview of women, supplanting their original purpose and highlighting obstacles which impede the quest for gender equality. I spent weeks painstakingly bending hundreds of wire coat hangers into the likeness of the female reproductive system, an exercise in endurance for my hands and a representation of the slow and painful trudge towards full reproductive rights for women in America. I layered and stacked men’s detachable shirt collars as stand-ins for institutionalized sexism. Thousands of sequins have been affixed to forms typically used in the construction and pressing of garments, morphing them into glittering body parts and cuts of meat, as women’s bodies are often reduced to decoration and objects of desire. I deliberately chose to work with materials and processes long considered the female domain as a reminder that with every prick of the pin and curve of the wire, women’s work is truly never done.”

– Holly Ballard Martz


11 X 19 x 2.5″ inflatable hanger, glass seed beads, thread and polyfill framed


3.5 X 5.5 X .5″ false eyelashes (synthetic fibers), thread, fabric backing framed
Biography          CV          Statement

Martz utilizes text and found objects to examine patterns of behavior and thinking, confronting her own latent biases and those woven into our national fabric. Martz proposes that we use pattern recognition as a form of unlearning by highlighting patterns that have become so ingrained as to render them invisible. Only by acknowledging systems of oppression can we hope to challenge them and ultimately change them.

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LOVE HURTS (installation)

55 X 86 x .75″ approximately 6000 9mm spent shell casings, pushpins, paint

In comparison to “Love Hurts (love you to death)”, the installation “Love Hurts” is anything but subtle. The bullet casings are readily recognizable as vestiges of discharged firearms, but their placement in a scrolling, sparkling script has an incongruous effect. The vivid fuchsia wall color matches the intensity of the subject matter while the oversized scale of the text helps to convey the enormity of the problem.

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1

  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.10

LOVE HURTS (love you to death)

30 X 40″ spent bullet primers and encaustic on panel


15 X 11 x 8″ men’s detachable shirtcollars, sequins, glassbeads, thread, and buttons

ZINC contemporary is currently working on a series of virtual exhibitions, pop-ups and art fairs to knock your socks off!


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