Blossom (2022)
Blossom (2022)

Holly Zandbergen

Blossom (2022)


Oil on Canvas

12.5 x 18cm

15.5 x 21cm framed


When examining my paintings, one will notice the frenetic energy that is present throughout the work. Upon investigating more closely, it will become apparent that this activity is the essence of each mark. In this sense, painting is a personal act that works to understand the subject. Whether the subject be that of the internal world of the artist or a literal form of the external world, it is the very translation of thought to form that ignites life within the painting. 

As an artist, I use oil paint as a medium to explore this kindred connection that exists between the mark and my intent.

Although my practice remains figurative, it must be stressed that the majority of my inspiration stems from an internal source, something that is not driven by the literal subject. This has resulted in an impasto application of oil paint where variables such as speed, force and motion activate endless possibilities within each mark. Painting has come to be about capturing what occurs within the present moment. Whether this is from within the time to mentally prepare and “enter into” the painting, to the physical contact made of palette knife onto canvas. 

The artwork itself is a result of a conducted spiritual process, where varying mark-making reflects the subtle layers of an authentic human response.


Holly Zandbergen graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Dunedin School of Art. She gained recognition as an emerging artist when she became shortlisted for the NZAAT Emerging Artist Award at the New Zealand Art Show. Her shortlisted work, Figures by the River, was collected by art patron Chris Parkin. 

In 2014, she moved to London and exhibited in various exhibitions, most notably the Creekside Open selected by Lisa Milroy at the APT Gallery and the National Open Art Competition at the Royal College of Art. There, she was awarded the Prudential Best Young Artists Award, a prize value of £5,000. 

In February 2016, The River Child was selected for the Columbia Threadneedle Exhibition at the Mall Galleries and also toured to the famous Palazzo Strozzi in Florence in July. Her debut solo show, The River Series, opened in March at the Graham Hunter Gallery on Baker Street.

Holly has since gained gallery representation with the notable Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London and Black Asterisk in Auckland. In 2017, she has exhibited in two major New Zealand competitions, the Molly Morpeth Canady Award and the ZAFAA 17, and has recently exhibited two paintings in the Seattle Art Fair.

Shows include a solo show with the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in September 2017 titled: I Sit In The Blue Of The Hills, Lapada Art Fair 2017 and Art Toronto 2017.

Holly currently lives and works in Christchurch, New Zealand.