Artist Holly Silius reimagines traditional sculpture with trans bodies

Multidisciplinary artist Holly Silius presents a new series of stone body sculptures Phantom Feel, inspired by writer and actor Lio Mehiel’s top surgery.

The new series reimagines traditional figurative sculpture with a gender-queer and transmasculine body.

Holly Silius is a fast emerging contemporary artist, based between the UK and LA. Silius’ body of work explores the human form, both raw and adorned, from body cast stone sculptures to masks and wearable body jewellery. The duality of raw and adorned mirrors Silius’ background in fine art and SFX.

Silius was raised in the northwest of England before moving to London to study SFX makeup at the London College of Fashion. Silius’s interest in makeup was borne from her extensive background in fine art.

“I was interested in understanding the way bodies are represented in a sculptural way,” Silius said of the project.

“Figurative sculptures are historically gender normative, and I believe all bodies should be represented in stone. I wanted to share this as I think it’s beautiful and bold. I wondered how it felt, and knew about the phantom limb feelings.”

“I wanted to share a tangible piece for the viewer’s mind to wander and feel something.”

The title Phantom Feel refers to a question Holly Silius posed to Lio Mehiel, whether they still have phantom feelings of their breasts.

The question inspired Mehiel to respond with a poem, including the verse “She asks if I have phantom feelings. Whispers from breasts no longer there. I assume yes. Why wouldn’t it be the same as a soldier who lost his limb? That is, if I lost something.”

All profits will be donated to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression regardless of income and race without facing violence.

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