Urban Nature: Cas Holmes has an abiding interest in the connections between land, place and environment. 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.'
Moira Vincentelli Essay for the exhibition 'Reflections'
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 Garden Museum London.
With a background in community arts, collaborations, installations and educational work are an important part of her practice. Work processes including drawing, textile, print and photography 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. Her third book, 'Stitch Stories' reflects on the development of personal narratives and will be published date August 2015.
New works along the theme of Urban-Nature continue to be explored following an exhibition 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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