Digswell Arts fellow Julia Holt based in The Forge is our featured artist of the month.
How would you describe your current practice (eg materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?
My practice has changed since lockdown and I feel is moving in a much more coherent direction. I am still painting but have benefitted from the slower pace, finding that I have an improved routine and am able to plan more efficiently.
I have been looking at the four elements and how they affect humankind. This work has been greatly influenced by the many walks and extra time spent outdoors.
What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops, etc)?
As well as working on the four elements I have been looking at different ways to show my works in these difficult times.
This month I have a two page spread in an online zine After Illusion, https://issuu.com/afterillusion/docs/after_illusion_zine
I am also pleased to have been accepted to be in an online exhibition for Frikifish.com, #theconfinementchronicle, and I am also delighted to have been invited to make a body of work to take part in an exhibition, A Sky of Stars, at the Bulgarian Embassy in London in October 2020.
What are your plans for the coming year?
I will be working on a body of work for A Sky of Stars, which is an exhibition to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the saving of 48 000 Bulgarian Jews by eminent members of the government, the Church and the people of Bulgaria. This has been a very interesting and inspiring project to research and I am currently producing oil paintings and works on paper on the theme.
I am also staring an MA at Uni Herts at the end of September which I am really looking forward to.
What or Who Inspires me?
I am inspired by other fellow artists and their research and inspiration. It is always so very interesting to listen to colleagues and friends talk about their own practices and how they came to their conclusions as well as the struggles they are having or have had. It is great to know that I am not the only one who has problems to solve and has made mistakes!
Which artists do you most admire and why?
I admire artists who are not afraid to use their inner voice or, who know who they are and what they are doing! On this journey as an artist, it is often quite a difficult task to be true to who you really are, but, if you manage this, then I feel it is always apparent in the work. To believe in yourself is half the battle. Chagall, Rothko, Picasso, Kiefer, Frank Bowling to name but a few.
How has your relationship with Digswell Arts strengthened your practice as an artist?
Digswell has played a major role in strengthening my practice, allowing me the time and space to move in my own direction whilst giving me the support to do so effectively. I can’t thank the trustees and fellows enough for all of their input and enthusiasm. I will be sorry to leave at the end of August but feel that I have really benefitted from the great community spirit, art conversations and support. Thank you.