I'm very interested in Newfoundland, obviously. I love the place and I want to stay here. I'm really interested in the livelihood of the people but at the same time I'm very interested in the health of the ocean and sometimes they're not in tune, especially when it comes to the desperation of the fishermen trying to make a livelihood.
From Where Land and Sea Collide by Mark Vaughan-Jackson, The Evening Telegram, June 20, 1997, p.16.
Tish Holland was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1959. She studied one year at Memorial University of Newfoundland before transferring to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. In 1978 Holland decided to pursue her interest in printmaking at York University, Toronto, Ontario and later at St. Michael's Printshop in St. John's, Newfoundland. However, she returned to NSCAD and completed a bachelor degree of fine arts in 1982.
Upon graduation, Holland spent a year travelling through Western Canada, the United States and Mexico. During her travels, Holland realized that she preferred other media to printmaking and began to explore painting. Holland's early paintings were characterized by unusual colours and occasional flashes of humour.
Since returning to Newfoundland, Holland has participated in several exhibitions including Elements, Thresholds and Fluctuations. Her focus is mostly on the landscape, and her work displays strong environmental concerns. Paintings like Bark at the Blast, a critique of NATO's low level flying tests in Labrador, or Last Tree, criticizing deforestation, have clear political intent.
In 1998, Holland was granted a solo exhibition titled Sea Dreams- Ancestral Shore at the House of Commons Reading Room in Ottawa in honour of World Fisheries Day. In her artist statement for this show, Holland reflects that her artwork has been "motivated by [her] deep interest in helping maintain a flourishing marine ecosystem along with the livelihood and health of the people of our coastal communities".
Holland's work is represented in the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador's Permanent Collection, and the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank, and Breakwater Press.
Holland currently lives in Manuels, Newfoundland.