Holst, Dana

  • Home:
    Edmonton, Alberta
  • Title:
    Lo and Behold
  • Media:
    Oil on panel / huile sur panneau
  • Dimensions:
    81 x 81 cm
  • Website:

Lo and Behold is from The Tell-Tale Heart, a recent body of work about bullying from a female perspective.  It is both deeply personal and societal, based on observations from my own life and influenced by daily news events.

The evolution of my oil paintings has increasingly focused on minute detail, old master techniques such as under-painting and glazing, and a sort of mental and psychological stroking of paint surface, in my hopes to create jewel-like fantastical landscapes for the viewer to escape into, sort of like a trip to OZ.  Ever present is my use of young female characters to act out scenes of the complex human condition, my morality dilemmas, through the use of self-portraits and vintage photographs.

Lo and Behold depicts two smug girls in ball gowns who’ve confidently joined forces against their chosen prey — a self portrait, portraying a naked and finger nail scratched girl, trying to quietly disappear into the thorny climbing roses of William Morris wallpaper.  The theme of this piece is relational aggression, the exclusion of one girl from the group in a show of ultimate power over another, destroying emotional and physical wellbeing.  With this piece, I’ve laboured over the wallpaper, working impasto paint into it to make it succulent and inviting, but thorny and full of hurt.  The floor, a checkerboard of two colors of marble was purposefully made off-kilter, to create a sense of vertigo and collapse or melting.  The gowns of the two conspirators were obsessively and masochistically worked and reworked.  I’d say that my paintings represent self-inflicted pain in their handling, it’s as if I feel they must delight on the minutest level, otherwise I’ve failed.



Honors B.A. Fine Arts University of Waterloo



The Tell-Tale Heart  Galerie St-Laurent + Hill, Ottawa, ON


Lo & Behold  Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto, ON


Sometimes Rainbows are Black  The Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON



Betwixt and Between  The Reach Museum, Abbotsford, BC


La Vie Fantastique Curated by Shane Golby, AGA Trex Program


Duo Exhibition with Ufuk Gueray, Odd Gallery, Dawson City, YT



Canada Council Project Grant


Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Project Grant

Other Relevant Information

2011 – 2012

Associate Visual Artist for the French Theatre – NAC, Ottawa ON, Selected by Wajdi Mouawad, Director

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