EE Women introduces

Ash Holmes

ARTIST

PAINTING ON GURINGAI LAND

As we entered into Hake House of Art, we also wandered into the imaginarium of Ash Holmes. It quickly became clear that this was an intentionally curated space with elements of organic function, where creative flow was perceptible.

Hake isn’t just a gallery; it is a space to foster creativity, a celebrated space to connect, to share, to grow and to evolve as an artist or viewer inside the raw and beautiful realm of Art.

Immediately void of ego, Ash whimsically invited us into the back of the gallery and into the heart of her studio where candles and palo santo were burning, with a combined scent of authenticity and humility. Elements of nature, music and raw materials were on display, evoking a respect for the senses with a nostalgic nod to remnants of her inspiration.

Hake really is a House of Art and we felt very welcomed into her home.

Artists have been crucial from the very beginning of our existence. From prehistoric cave paintings, to frescos around the world, to scientific drawings, to the avant-garde movements, artists have contributed to expanding human evolution from many different perspectives.

This expansion, much like the universe, is still going on and artists still play an important part in contributing to the social biodiversity of the world.

Art is interwoven into the fabric of our society and is used as an expressive form of communication. An artist’s role is almost that of an Alchemist - capable of transforming a few humble materials into objects which are imbued with emotional, spiritual and aesthetic value. Art is very important in society because it is an essential ingredient to empowering the hearts of people.

We invite you to explore our interview with Ash Holmes (a fourth-generation artist) and to connect with her heart story.

An artist’s creative process is one of the most intriguing aspects behind an artwork. What are your stages of your artistic process? Where do you start?

My process starts with a soft idea, which lives in my mind for a while. The idea develops into loose sketches on paper of compositions and notes about color. Part of my process is collecting materials, I’ll source fabric, wood or paint supplies. I really enjoy the gathering of materials, there’s a feeling of urgency once I’ve collected the materials needed to begin. Once I start the work on canvas I have a clear idea of how I’ll start the piece, usually my canvas is on the floor. There’s no stubbornness towards the end result, I feel it’s important to keep my mind open and leave mystery in how the piece will take shape. Once the first layers are down it’s a balance of intuitively knowing when that piece is complete or if it needs space to breathe. In which case I will revisit the work months later with a fresh perspective. To complete the process and sign off on the artwork I will document the piece on my film camera.

Creativity is subjective, deeply personal. How have your life experiences influenced your aesthetic?

My works are an expression of how situations have made me feel. The most powerful experiences I have had visually have been in nature, these moments stay with you. When I’m painting I’ll dig for those moments to reflect internally and project externally onto the canvas.

Did you know at an early age that you wanted to be an artist?

I started painting with Mum around 3. I knew I loved art around the age of 10, it spoke to me deeply.

How has your family contributed to your history as an artist and how do they contribute in the present day?

They are supportive, my family make so much time to view my work and share their perspective. I’m a fourth generation female artist in my family, it’s been an honor to have advice and feedback at arms reach. I’m proud of the ladies before me!

What do you value most about your work as an artist?

Each piece adds to the chapters of my journey, they are like pages within a book. I work on canvas and the tangible feeling of creating something from a blank surface is fulfilling.

Your art has a very defined sensory effect. What materials and elements do you like to work with and why?

Thank you! I use color as my main tool, to enhance the sensory effect. I feel that experimenting with color combinations and layering is when I can create a piece that induces the emotional reaction a viewer will have to the artwork. I read this lovely quote once that really resonated with me. “A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer.” - Mark Rothko.

How does the natural world inspire your work?

Practising on Guringai Land is a true honor, the beauty that the Australian landscape hands us is extraordinary. The rich tones found in nature, the color combinations and texture has been a source of inspiration for me for as long as I can remember. I take images and have them developed which helps me document what I would also like to capture in my pieces.

Color psychology is defined as the “study of shades as a determinant of human behavior”. When choosing a palette do you take into consideration how the combination of colors will evoke an emotional response in your audience?

At times this can be subconscious for me, like using Pink. There are healing and calming properties to the color Pink, it’s also challenging to some. If it’s not an intuitive subconscious selection that I’ve mixed then yes, I do intentionally use certain tones. Example; Pink and Green together. These two tones have such a nice conversation.

Where do you go for inspiration or what do you do to recharge your creativity?

Spend time outside the studio, do other creative activities that fill me up. Like playing guitar, listening to music, listening to music that I used to listen to a lot (evokes nostalgia and often gives me lots of energy) I also love to swim in the ocean.

How does wearing EE make you feel?

Comfortable physically but also mentally. Knowing that these pieces have been well considered and made with thought / respect and love.

Where can we find you?

At our gallery HAKE, House Of Art. Painting or hanging a new show!