Exhibition to celebrate local artist


“Colin Holt: a survey” will showcase the work of celebrated Darwin artist Colin Holt

“Colin Holt: a survey” will showcase the work of celebrated Darwin artist Colin Holt

The work of a maverick artist who defies conventional approaches to making art will be in the spotlight when a new exhibition opens at the Charles Darwin University Art Gallery on Wednesday, 18 October.

“Colin Holt: a survey” will showcase almost four decades of artwork created by celebrated Darwin local Colin Holt, who is best known for his quirky and abstract paintings and prints.

CDU Art Gallery acting curator Kellie Joswig said Mr Holt had led a hectic life in Darwin’s vibrant art and music scene, creating a large range of varied works.

“Featuring more than 80 works from his career in Northern Australia, the exhibition includes abstract expressionist paintings from landscapes, cowboys on horses imagined from early frontier days, commissioned posters, and a series of not-so-flattering portraits of NT Chief Ministers,” Ms Joswig said.

She said the exhibition would give visitors a glimpse into the fascinating life of a talented, yet under-recognised Darwin artist, and his keen and cynical interest in local politics.

“Often labelled as an abstract expressionist, he creates layered compositions of paint that reference memory as a visual language,” she said.

“The exhibition also will feature his screen-printing and large-format portraiture, and include posters advertising music gigs and Top End tourism alongside a series of cheeky portraits created in 2008 entitled 30 years of Chief Ministers.”

Colin Holt arrived in Darwin in 1977 and studied Fine Arts at the Darwin Community College, CDU’s predecessor institution. In the early 1980s, he lived in Cairns, at Darwin River and on Bathurst Island, before joining Darwin Mural Group and creating commissioned public-space murals across the city.

During the early 1990s, he ran poster and fabric printmaking workshops at Tiwi Designs on Bathurst Island, returning often to assist with the artists’ printmaking activities.

He has worked as a painter, screen printer, furniture maker, muralist, market gardener and as an accomplished musician.

His work is represented in regional and national public and private collections in Australia. Many artworks that will feature in the exhibition are on loan from private collections in Darwin, Alice Springs and Yirrkala.

Colin Holt: a survey will run from 19 October 2017 – 17 February 2018 at the Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Building Orange 12, Casuarina campus.

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