Urban Nature: Cas Holmes is interested in the issues relating to environment, place and the land. Trained in fine art she works in mixed media using found materials in a process once described by a work colleague as 'extreme stitching'. At first glance, the materials and techniques she uses give the impression of something we 'already know', yet the artist is able to conjure up familiar images and associations and give them new meanings. I am influenced by the ideals of wabi-sabi, things often overlooked, details, worn surfaces and the beauty found in the transience of things imperfect. The intimacy of our gardens and homes, and the connection to our outside spaces, fields and pathways; 'stitch sketching' to capture a moment before it is gone.
Stitch, cloth and memory combine with paint, mark and image to create layered ephemeral pieces in which nothing is explicit;
Her work often contains snippets of text or discarded materials that have associations or conjure up memories. There is always a dialogue with the materials she uses. They bring their own history which is woven into the work. These collections of ephemera might seem meaningless but their apparent banality is open-ended. They are available to stimulate the imagination through the poetry of ordinariness. Everything has a connection and each viewer makes their own connections.
Her works to commission are best described as 'cloth paintings with stitch' and are usually displayed free-hanging, and without 'borders, smaller pieces can be framed. Pieces are held in collections around the world, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York, Arts Council England, The Embroiderer's Guild UK and the Sir Leonard Cheshire Foundation.
With a background in community arts, collaborative projects, installations and support of conservation charities such as Plantlife, are an important part of her practice. Her work processes and educational work with museums and public venues are reflected in an article on textileartist and in her book 'The Found Object in Textile Art', (published by Batsford/Anova 2010 reprinted 3 times). Her second book, 'Connected Cloth,' co written with Anne Kelly, was published in September 2013 She is currently working on her third book, 'Stitch Stories' publishing date August 2015.
She continues to create new works for exhibition in her continuing exploration of Urban-Nature following a successful show at the Beaney Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury. She exhibited 'Spaces, Places and Traces' as a guest exhibitor at the European Patchwork Meeting in September (supported by Pfaff and Husqvarna-Viking ), followed by Memory Cloth at the Lace Museum in the Netherlands. A commission for the Garden Museum towards the end of 2014 saw her ending the year marking the centenary of World War 1. During 2015 exhibitions and projects are planned for Australia, Europe and in the UK. Regular updates are posted on her blog.
Magpie of the Mind on-line journal.
Current CV and information on axisweb
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