Holly Bates is a Naarm/Melbourne-based emerging filmmaker and visual artist. Bates recently completed a Masters of Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating with first class. Her graduate film and directorial debut House of Whoreship premiered online on MIFF Play in 2022, with international premieres to be announced in 2023. Bates previously completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree at QUT in 2015, graduating with first class and two academic prizes. Holly has exhibited her solo work nationally at spaces such as BLINDSIDE Art Space, Boxcopy contemporary art space and Metro Arts Brisbane. Furthermore she has showcased in her collaborative practice Parallel Park at spaces such as Airspace Projects, UNSW Galleries, BUS projects, La Trobe Art Institute, Carriageworks and the 2021 Rising Festival. Bates has appeared in publications such as UN Magazine, Eyeline Magazine and recently was interviewed by VICE.
Holly Bates’s creative practice aims to dismantle and challenge the toxic film tropes historically used to depict sex workers on screen. Utilising filmic methods that abandon the male gaze, Bates seeks to empower workers; honing in on the complexities and subtleties of interpersonal relationships and the day-to-day of the sex industry. Artist as well as filmmaker, Bates is driven to create conceptually rich worlds and stories, layered for both sex worker and mainstream audiences. Using humor and intersectional approaches to film-making, the practice explores personal narratives that are informed by Bates’ position as a queer feminist.