Looking at Art - July

<strong>Colin Holt</strong><br/> Born 1959, Swan Hill, Victoria resides Darwin, Northern Territory<br/><br/><i>Untitled</i> 2005<br/>Acrylic on board, 100 x 122cm<br/>Charles Darwin University Art Collection – CDU1257 <br/>Acquired by purchase for the CDU Art Collection, 2005<br/>Image © the artist

Colin Holt

Colin Holt arrived in Darwin in 1977 and studied Fine Arts at the Darwin Community College.

In the early 1980s, he lived in Cairns, at Darwin River and on Bathurst Island. In the mid-1980s, he had a screen printing studio at Wishart Siding. During the early 1990s, he ran poster and fabric printmaking workshops at Tiwi Design on Bathurst Island, returning often to assist with the artists’ printmaking activities.

Holt has worked as a painter, screen printer, furniture maker, muralist, market gardener and as an accomplished musician in the Darwin music scene. He has undertaken numerous public art commissions to complete murals in Darwin, Katherine and on Bathurst Island.

Since the late 1980s, Holt has participated in group exhibitions and members’ shows in Darwin, Daylesford (Victoria) and Sydney, including the National Gallery of Victoria’s Do something with a Blundstone touring exhibition in 1994.

He has held numerous solo exhibitions between 2003 and 2009 at Raft Artspace (formerly in Parap). His work is represented in regional and national public and private collections in Australia.

Holt’s paintings move seamlessly between figuration and abstraction. They evoke meaning by association – through choice of colour, gestural brushwork and compositional design.

The subject matter of his work is essentially painting itself: spontaneity and accident have their roles to play, although the inspiration for his work comes from the world of his actual experiences, from memory, and his immediate environment. He shuns titles, although if drawn out, snippets of stories tell of places where significant events or encounters have transpired. His is essentially a private pictorial vocabulary, which relies on the act of painting to be the medium for the message, one that maintains a faith in the universal language of art.

The work acquired for the University Art Collection may perhaps portray a waterhole in a dry, barren landscape, except that the water is blood red, not transparent blue. It brings to mind some of the jila paintings by artists from the Fitzroy Crossing region of Western Australia, for whom water sources in the desert were both a salvation and a site for often fatal encounters with white colonists.

Anita Angel
Curator, Charles Darwin University Art Collection and Art Gallery

2 July 2010

CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery


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