A spectacular new collection from Julie Holmes
When we first saw photos of Julie Holmes’ work, we were excited. Then Julie delivered her “Modern Tribal” range to the gallery, and excitement gave way to complete and utter rapture. e.g.etal is now the proud custodian of a spectacular new collection from an artist who lives to celebrate tradition, ceremony and humanity in the boldest fashion. We spoke with Julie about the ideas, forces and loves that inspire her….
e.g.etal: There seems to be a meditative quality to the intricate, repetitive details of your work. What kind of environment puts you in the best creative ‘zone’?
Julie: When I am working in the studio, I like to be listening to music with my earphones on, a mix between Jack White and Nina Simone usually does the trick for me. This puts me into a space where everything around me is blocked out to a certain extent and I can really lose myself in the process of hammering metal and working with clay. The two mediums in terms of materiality are polar opposites in their tactile quality but the rhythm and motion needed to work with them is meditative. I work best at night when weaving and wrapping the various elements on my jewellery and become obsessive about finishing what I have started in one night.
Yellow Cotton Pendant
e.g.etal: Do you have any particular philosophies or questions behind the tribal tone of your necklaces, rings and brooches?
Julie: I try to incorporate ancient and ceremonial qualities to my work as I have always been drawn to different cultures and traditions. When researching different cultures I love the natural and handmade quality of everything I see and the elements and principals of design are always so perfectly attributed to many things including jewellery, ceramics, ceremonial costumes, housing, tools and furniture. When I am working I want my work to express the quality that I see in various cultures particularly the mark of the hand. It is really important for my work not to have a perfect finish or for pieces to be exactly the same when I am making multiples. I want the wearer to feel that they are wearing a truly handmade piece that is one of a kind in its intricacies and markings.
e.g.etal: You’ve spoken before of your passion for the handmade object. What is it about a handmade piece that resonates with you so strongly?
Julie: Living in the 21st century, what we are seeing within design and manufacture is really exciting in a technological sense; however, the great sadness is the role of the craftsperson is diminishing in our society. The use of the machine and the ability to have multiples all the same does not give the viewer the same pleasure as a handmade object does. Seeing, wearing or using something that has been made by hand, no matter what it is, gives the object so much beauty due to the fact that from beginning to end it has been created by a craftsperson. A machine or computer would never be able to replicate this. A few years ago I bought a bowl that was made in Rajistan. It has a slight lean to one side and where the potter has dipped the bowl into the white underglaze, with his hands covered in slip, it has left finger prints where he held the bowl. I love that they are there. It is not perfect but every time I pick it up I can imagine this potter surrounded by pots having to get the glazing done, working every day to create this gorgeous bowl. Brilliant.
Silver and Acrylic Paint ring