Featured Artist of the month – Julia Holt

Written by Kirke Raava

On March 3, 2018

1) How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?

I am currently investigating dance and the figure, using observation and expressive mark making to create a feeling of movement within the confines of a two dimensional painting.

I work in inks, paint and pastel and often make either large scale work, using the floor as my easel or postcard size paintings with intricate ink markings that I then draw into. 

Panthera, Endangered species, mixed media on paper, Julia Holt 165cmx75cm

2) What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?

I am one of the artists at The Wynd Gallery in Letchworth, which is an artist run gallery. I am part of the curating team at the gallery and help every month to hang a new exhibition. I have a solo show coming up at The Wynd from 16th April for one week and will be taking over The Radlett Centre, Watling Street, Radlett, Herts, in the downstairs Gallery for the month of July.

In the Heart of the Woods, mixed media on canvas, Julia Holt 63,5cmx45cm

3) What are your plans for the coming year?

I am planning to observe dance and to incorporate this into my life. Drawing from observation is a big part of my practice. I then return to the studio with my drawings and emotions and create, often listening to philosophy or music.

I would also like to learn a lot more about curating, as I enjoy the process so much.

Esther Hidden Beauty, mixed media on paper 165cmx75cm


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

I get asked about the materials I use and how I came to achieve certain effects. I answer as honestly as I can but without giving too much away!


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

Originally I was inspired by the great art of Renoir and Monet, but there have been many inspiring people along the way, including loyal family, inspiring tutors and my admiration for fellow artists.

I have always written poetry as a form of expression but I write less now that I can express myself so wholeheartedly through my practice.

6) Which artist do you most admire and why? 

There is a whole list of artists that I admire, but to name just a few

Kiki Smith, because she is able to work in so many different medias, tapestry, painting, printmaking. I find her themes quite touching.

Julie Mehretu is intriguing, her work is loaded with abstract energy and her sensibility is palpable.

Monet and Turner create such incredible atmospheric paintings and Anselm Kiefer whose paintings are so close to sculptures that the subject seems tangible in his own newly created language.

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

Digswell Art has really been amazing in taking me from being a student to an artist in my own right.

I am currently on a photoshop course that is subsidised by Digswell and have been involved in many opportunities that I would never have known about had I not been a Digswell Fellow.

It is good to be part of a team and to have a studio within a community, enabling crits and discussion to take place and become part of my life as an artist.


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