This week’s Spotlight Artist is Gillian Holding.
Gillian Holding’s work portray a fleeting sense of dissonance and a barely perceptible glimpse of the familiar out of context. Her work is frequently figurative, allegorical and narrative.
The work holds a variety of delicate and mixed media materials, but most significantly, it plays an important conceptual role in her practice. Ironically, in this age of proliferation of the digital image, her work (even the digitally generated work) cannot be photographed or reproduced satisfactorily.
Last weekend, Gillian was one of the five Debut Artists exhibiting at Regent’s Canal Festival. The exhibition at Regent's Canal Festival has been a part of a three-day festival of more than 100 artists, musicians and performers to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the founding in 1812 of what became one of the busiest waterways in London. The featured art work was in the Mile End Art Pavilion which was one of the main venues of the festival.
To learn a bit more about Gillian and her artistic practice, we asked her some questions:
DC: What were you most looking forward to yourself in the Regent's Canal Festival?
GH: Walking the length of the canal from West to East! My art is heavily influenced by urban wanderings, finding the fascinating and absurd oddities in the everyday mundane and familiar. I love nothing more than walking miles, making connections between places worlds apart in feel if not in distance. It's a sort of psychological and geographical game of Chinese Whispers.
DC: What have been some of your most memorable experiences in art?
GH: Impossible question; I could give you a different answer every minute of every day because in a sense, each step I take in my career, each piece of art I make, each and every encounter with art in general is usually memorable for all sorts of reasons. All of Life is art for me, and living for the moment every day is a brilliant way to live life. You can't ask for much more, and it's a far cry from the daily practice of law which was what I used to do
DC: What do you want to be remembered for?
GH: Making a positive and enriching difference to the lives of my children
DC: What are your highlights on the Debut Contemporary scheme so far?
GH: I have learned so much on the scheme, not just about the art world and the business of art, but also about myself. Believing I can earn a living from doing work I love involves a paradigm shift in how I see myself and my work and how I engage with the wider world and build up relationships. I love the opportunities to talk and write about other people's art, but also about what my art means to me.
DC: Where is your favourite West London hangout?
GH: This is an interesting one. I've always been a bit of an East End girl; I lived and worked over at the other side of London for many years before I moved up North, and I've had a great time over the last few months tramping the streets of West London getting to know the area. I have to say the coffee and food at Ottolenghi is worth the trip!
DC: Finally, we hope you can share a little secret with us: what are your guilty pleasures?
GH: It must be working in cafés. Sitting at a sunny table with my phone playing around with a new art app, with a nice espresso in front of me and hearing foreign languages around me (whether Italian up in Leeds or Arabic around Westbourne Grove) makes me feel I'm on holiday wherever I am. Even if I'm supposed to be working!