Holland Houdek (Iowa)

Mechanization (Implants Series V)

Medium/Materials: Hand-fabricated & lathed waxes, urethane mold, resin-bonded sand mold, ductile iron, and lacquer 

Dimensions: 3" x 6' x 4' 

Year: 2015

Photographer: Jeff Machtig

Created in Arts/Industry, a long-term residency program of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Arts/Industry takes place at Kohler Co.

Artist Statement: 

Medical devices were casted and mass produced using raw, foundational materials in an industrial setting. Mass production is typically associated with abundance, access, and affordability, but the power of abundance takes on new significance when the objects produced are unusable and even life-threatening if put into the body; biocompatibility dictates that only certain metals can be used for implanted medical devices, usually platinum or titanium. Thus, the work in this series illuminates the paradox of an intentionally un-usable mass produced set of medical objects. It asks viewers to think about abundance for abundance's sake, and for considering what a precious and personal object means when mass produced in a raw material and presented in a gallery setting. 


Holland's work focuses on medical implants, the body, and embodied experience. She has participated in several juried exhibitions throughout the United States, from the Velvet da Vinci Gallery to the Walker Art Museum. Internationally, she has exhibited in China, Taiwan, Germany, Lithuania, Canada, Mexico, and Morocco. Holland's work can be seen in two Lark Books’ 500 Series, Susan Ramlijeck’s On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets, SNAG’s A Body Adorned, Contemporary Jewelry in China, CAST, and elsewhere. She is a 2015 and 2016 Niche Awards Finalist, a 2015 Taiwan International Metal Crafts Competition Finalist, a 2015 Preziosa Young Finalist, and recently took 1st place in “Handcrafted” and Best of Show at the biennial “Refined VIII.” Holland recently had the opportunity to participate in the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry residency program, and was the 2014-2015 Visiting Artist-in-Residence at the University of Iowa, where she now teaches. Working closely with the medical industry through her five Implants Series, Holland has formed professional partnerships with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, MedWish International, Cleveland Clinic, and elsewhere. She is currently living and working in Iowa City, Iowa.