Born 1985 in Tandragee, Northern Ireland, Lydia Holmes studied at the University of Ulster, graduating in 2010 with a First Class BA Honours degree in Fine Art. Holmes is a multi-disciplinary artist who exploits the full range of possibilities offered by sculpture, drawing and painting.
In 2010, she won a special invitation by the Royal Ulster Academy to show at the Ulster Museum annual exhibition. Over the past two years, Holmes has shown throughout Ireland and the UK, with her first solo exhibition winning much critical acclaim at Queen Street Studios Gallery in 2011. Holmes has also been selected for many significant group shows in Ireland at the Golden Thread Gallery, Ormeau Baths Gallery and Galway Arts Centre. In Scotland, she has exhibited with the Transmission Gallery (Glasgow) and the Embassy Gallery (Edinburgh). Shows in England have included exhibitions at The Royal Standard (Liverpool) and The Others (London).
Holmes explores the tension between social and political subjects and fuses these with aesthetic and formal concerns. Inspired by the ‘Futurist landscape’ imagined by members of the Futurist movement (1909-1944) she makes oblique references to Filippo Tommasso Marinetti (1909-1944) and the movement’s connections to Fascism. Her work parodies the irrational ideals of the Futurist’s visual language and the Fascist statements in their manifestos. But this artist also takes an unapologetically contemporary perspective that teases delightedly with today’s scientific and technological advancements.
Holmes invites the viewer into her strange world, populated by hybrid animals and living machines. This is a world that exists somewhere between the one we know and one that is just out of our reach. It manages to be simultaneously unfamiliar yet compellingly similar to our own. Holmes combines and confronts found or manufactured objects or imagery, forcing them into a polyvalent dialogue in the surrounding space. Her work is concerned with looking at the future fearlessly in the eye, and at other times showing anxiety and perplexity for the unknown whilst alluding to the uncertainty and sense of enquiry aroused by contemporary art.
Weblinks of recent reviews:
February 2012 Jamison, Brendan. http://eamonnmallie.com/2012/02/brendan-jamison-collecting-contemporary-art-part-3-futurism-and-parody/
October 2011 McCormack, Ailve. http://fromthestudioof.com/artists/lydia-holmes/
August 2011 Moore, T. The Future is Weird in Lydia Holmes’ World www.culturenorthernireland.org/article.aspx?art_id=4320