Featured Artist | Mollie & Zoe Hosmer-Dillard

While artists Mollie and Zoe Hosmer-Dillard are new to Sager Braudis Gallery, they are veterans of the True/False Film Festival’s Visual Arts program. Fest-goers might remember their intriguing 2016 wall installation at that year’s T/F box office. For the 2017 box office space at Sager Braudis, they collaborated again, this time drawing on the festival theme, “Out of the ether,” to create a grouping of small, layered, mixed-media pieces based on visualizations of the 5 alchemical elements. This week, Gallery Director Hannah Reeves asks the sisters about their cooperative artistic process.

Reeves: How did the two of you come to be collaborators?

Hosmer-Dillards: We’re sisters, so collaborating has been a natural thing since day one! We’d collaborate on drawings as kids, putting on plays, taking photos, making presents, exploring the woods, and cooking.

Reeves: What did your process look like, creating this series while living in different states?

Hosmer-Dillards: First we looked at a bunch of alchemical drawings to have some images in our minds’ eye. We didn’t copy any of those drawings, but just let them filter through our own imaginations. One of us would start a drawing and work on it till we didn’t know what to do anymore. Then we’d pass it to the other sister, who would work on it for a while, and we’d continue that way till we felt it was finished. It was a fun way to work since we never felt stuck! We used ink, acrylic paint, and an oil monotype printing method.

Reeves: In your statement and when we’ve gotten to talk about this work, you’ve connected your imagery to alchemical elements. Could you explicate that symbolism a bit? 

Hosmer-Dillards: We understand alchemy as a way of finding explanations for things in the world before Western science, and we find many of the images and explanations really intriguing, like poems or myths.

Reeves: Who / what influences you as artists?

Hosmer-Dillards: Landscapes, being outside, animals, Paul Klee, William Blake, Marilyn Frasca, dead leaves in river beds, luscious fields, Marilynne Robinson, Emily Dickinson.

Reeves: I always like to ask artists about their “studio quirks.” Do you have one?

Hosmer-Dillards: When we work together, we take breaks for dance parties.