A still from the film Holly Hendry: The Art of Chaos. Gloved hands are shown pouring a pastel pink thick substance from a blue container into a textured white surface.

Holly Hendry: The Art of Chaos

02 Mar 2022

In a new five-part series of films, we examine how the art of breaking rules is critical to artistic practice. For our fourth film in the series, we joined Holly Hendry in her studio and on the Thames foreshore.

Rebellion has always been at the heart of pioneering artistic practice. For the past 82 years Beano has been right there too, inspiring generations to discover the possibilities of creativity – incidentally the topic of our current exhibition Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules. The exhibition shares original comic drawings alongside works from leading artists and designers, imbued with the same Beano spirit of rebellion.

With the help of artists featured in the exhibition, we wanted to explore how creatives are harnessing that rebellion. Here we study the fine art of chaos with Holly Hendry, an artist whose sculptures and installations are concerned with what lies beneath the surface, from hidden underground spaces to the interior workings of the body. 

Working with bright colours, sometimes sickly sweet, Hendry’s work awakes a need to touch and understand the glossiness or rough surfaces of her work. Chaotically toeing the line between seduction and disgust, her works often address digestion, decomposition and skin as a ‘container’ of the body.

On making work, Hendry says ‘you’re thinking with your hands before you think with your head’, and it’s these moments of the unknown, a suspended instance of upheaval, that helps guide her work. 


Director: Radford Nicholls
Editor: Jacek Zmarz
Director of Photography: Stephen James Dunn
Executive Producer: Eleanor Scott