A spotlight on Julia Holt – November Artist of the Month

Written by Forge

On November 5, 2019

Introducing Artist Fellow Julia Holt who Is based at The Forge Studios in Digswell.  Meet her and see her work at this December’s Open Studios event. 

Destinies, acrylic, oil, ink and pigment on canvas

How would you describe your current practice?

Currently I am exploring language and its affect on art practice. I am using ink and thread and creating books that look at semitic letters, their meanings and origins. I have also used solar etching and mono prints to explore the shapes of individual letters.

Wide world (detail ) ink and ligament on paper

 What are you working on at the moment ?

At the moment, as well as creating books I am working on a seascape tryptych and several smaller works on paper that explore nature. I find that after drawing outside I feel very energised and creative in the studio and so this is the best time to begin new work.

I am interested in curating and am volunteering to help hang work and be part of the curating team at local galleries. I have also curated the hall space at Digswell open studios and will be doing so for the upcoming Christmas Open on December 1st.

Wide world (detail), ink on paper

 What are your plans for the coming year?

I am currently planning a community project that will involve groups of people (eg nurses, students, patients etc) making a large hanging art piece and  bringing stories relating to the group and environment. The aim will be to enhance well being through meeting, making and social interaction. I’m really excited about starting this and have already put together a proposal to explain the project in more detail and hopefully get help with funding.

Seascape triptych, Work in progress (studio view)

What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?

Mostly I am asked about the media that I use as I enjoy mark making and the marks usually inspire curiosity from the viewer.  I tell them most of my techniques but not all!!

Wide world (detail) Ink and ligament on paper

What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?

I’ve always been very creative but mostly I wrote poetry to express this. It was when my children were all at school that I decided to take up art and it just became a consuming passion that surprised me and my family. A leaflet came through my door to do an access to fine art course which was the beginning of my journey and then I did a Fine Art Degree at the University of Herts and came straight to Digswell. There were many inspiring tutors that I am deeply grateful to, along the way.

 Which artist do you most admire and why? 

I admire Anselm Kiefer for his sculptural paintings, I find his work exciting and original with great depth and meaning. I’m very much looking forward to seeing his upcoming exhibition at White Cube. I also enjoyed the recent Frank Bowling exhibition at Tate Britain and quite often pop along to the National Gallery to look at Turner, Cezanne, Van Gough. The list is endless …

How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?

Digswell Arts has given me the opportunity to explore different sides to being an artist that are not within my comfort zone and doing this within the ‘safe’ environment of Digswell. I am the current Building maintenance rep for the studios, have curated the hall, was part of an artist run gallery for a year (opportunity through old fellow), gave assemblies at the local school, join in crits, get advice and support from experts and much much more. Being part of Digswell arts has been and continues to be a very positive experience.

To see more of her work visit  www.julesart.co.uk

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