Nina Holmes

it is not what i see

the dankness, the brown mustiness deeply integrated into fathomless pits of
earth under earth
the sharp, excited green of new life,
new promises prim and contained each leaf shape.
the frilly, delicate ferns lacy tendrils
and soft.
the albino white patches on trunks of trees blending into sap green,
mouldy dark – so unexpected
the intricacies of branch crossing branch crossing twig,
the whistle quietness and subdued secrecy of winding paths
earth under earth

Nina Holmes returns to Eclectica Contemporary this August with her second solo exhibition at our gallery titled ‘it is not what i see”.  This show was largely informed by a landscape painting workshop in Karatara, near Knysna, that Holmes attended earlier this year. Working instinctively and through a process of reflecting on all her senses, the pieces reflect an urge to make visual what is heard, smelled, touched and emotionally experienced while working in a new and alive environment.

On returning to her studio in Cape Town, a process of reflection and translation began. She attempted to recapture and re-experience the forest with the experience of working ‘en plain air’. Holmes filled her studio with the studies she had created and brought back with her. Speaking of her experience of working in Karatara she described the concurrent dualities of nature:

“The apparent lazy serenity of blissful farm life, blue skies, distant rumble of the local woodchoppers, snorting of horses, undulating valleys versus the harsh sun beating down on one side of one’s face, unexpected gusts of wind sending materials flying, the swarms of relentless mosquitoes in the forest, stinging rain, the difficulty in lugging one’s own equipment through unwelcoming terrain”.

Colours and textures spread across her canvasses, around the space, and across vision in abstraction that invoke the ambivalence of nature, occupying space, and interacting, within it. Each painting offers abstracted motifs that bounce across and between the works, with clues and hints in the titling that point to inspirations and anecdotes.

For this exhibition Holmes has mostly worked large, creating a kind of vast landscape to work on. Inspired by the work of Fabienne Verdier, Holmes painted on loose canvasses taped to the floor, working aerially. She worked quickly, instinctively, mainly painting with acrylic to allow for speed, spontaneity and improvisation. Trying to recapture elements of working outside, using her memory to recall and record: the single tree, the intersection of branches, the shouting of hens. Recurrent motifs, abstracted forms seemed to reappear again and again.

“It is not what I see. I have tried to look at each work and really feel what the painting needs and wants as opposed to superimposing any idea of preconceived outcome. I have tried to become comfortable with not knowing.”

There is also the implied understanding of the show’s title, that it is not about what the artist sees, but what the viewer sees or experiences. Holmes holds the belief that while some knowledge of the artist’s intentions and methods may allow for greater appreciation of specific work, the viewer may experience something entirely different to the artist’s original ideas and intended outcomes.

With a collection of works on canvas and framed works on paper, Holmes returns with a body of work that speaks through her evocative use of colours, illusion and allusion. In our gallery, run by womxn, we are excited and honoured to celebrate the work of incredible womxn artists for the month of August, and are thrilled to present this solo exhibition by Nina Holmes in this context.

– Clare Patrick

Nina Holmes it is not what i see 2019 Acrylic on canvas 154 x 190 cm

Nina Holmes
it is not what i see
2019
Acrylic on canvas
154 x 190 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Homage 2019 Mixed media on canvas 52 x 72 cm

Nina Holmes
Homage
2019
Mixed media on canvas
52 x 72 cm

Nina Holmes Hanging Worlds 2019 Oil on Board 60 x 81 cm

Nina Holmes
Hanging Worlds
2019
Oil on Board
60 x 81 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Karatara- White Noise 2019 Acrylic on canvas 82.5 x 117.5 cm

Nina Holmes
Karatara: White Noise
2019
Acrylic on canvas
82.5 x 117.5 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Karatara- Ambient Composition 2019 Acrylic on canvas 82.5 x 117.5 cm

Nina Holmes
Karatara: Ambient Composition
2019
Acrylic on canvas
82.5 x 117.5 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Karatara- Single tree standing 2019 Acrylic on canvas 82.5 x 117.5 cm

Nina Holmes
Karatara: Single tree standing
2019
Acrylic on canvas
82.5 x 117.5 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Square Root 2019 Acrylic on canvas 170 x 196 cm

Nina Holmes
Square Root
2019
Acrylic on canvas
170 x 196 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Pollination 2019 mixed media on paper 46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes
Pollination
2019
mixed media on paper
46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes Head puzzle 2019 mixed media on paper 46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes
Head puzzle
2019
mixed media on paper
46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes King of the Castle 2019 mixed media on paper 46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes
King of the Castle
2019
mixed media on paper
46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes My lips are sealed 2019 mixed media on paper 46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes
My lips are sealed
2019
mixed media on paper
46 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes New Promises 2019 Acrylic on paper 47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes
New Promises
2019
Acrylic on paper
47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes Muted 2019 Acrylic on paper 47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes
Muted
2019
Acrylic on paper
47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes Sensory Overload 2019 Acrylic on paper 47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes
Sensory Overload
2019
Acrylic on paper
47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes Over there 2019 Mixed medai on canvas 45 x 61 cm

Nina Holmes
Over there
2019
Mixed media on canvas
45 x 61 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Still Life with Colander and Brushes 2019 Acrylic on canvas 174 x 123 cm

Nina Holmes
Still Life with Colander and Brushes
2019
Acrylic on canvas
174 x 123 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Empty Nest 2019 Acrylic on canvas 121 x 86 cm

Nina Holmes
Empty Nest
2019
Acrylic on canvas
121 x 86 cm

Nina Holmes Thicket 2018 Acrylic on canvas 61 x 86 cm

Nina Holmes
Thicket
2018
Acrylic on canvas
61 x 86 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Inhale 2019 Acrylic on paper 36 x 27 cm

Nina Holmes
Inhale
2019
Acrylic on paper
36 x 27 cm
RESERVED

Nina Holmes Alien Terrain 2019 Acrylic on paper 36 x 27 cm

Nina Holmes
Alien Terrain
2019
Acrylic on paper
36 x 27 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Blinded 2019 Acrylic on paper 36 x 27 cm

Nina Holmes
Blinded
2019
oil on paper
36 x 27 cm

Nina Holmes Sonic Landscape 2019 Acrylic on paper 47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes
Sonic Landscape
2019
Acrylic on paper
47 x 35 cm

Nina Holmes Sleep Guardian 2019 Mixed Media on canvas 121 x 152 cm

Nina Holmes
Sleep Guardian
2019
Mixed Media on canvas
121 x 152 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Dead man walking 2019 oil on Board 30 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes
Dead man walking
2019
oil on Board
30 x 34 cm

Nina Holmes Fecund soil 2019 Gouache and soil on paper 49 x 55cm

Nina Holmes
Fecund soil
2019
Gouache and soil on paper
49 x 55 cm

Nina Holmes The Whisperers 2019 Acrylic & oil on Textile 71 x 142 cm

Nina Holmes
The Whisperers
2019
Acrylic & oil on Textile
71 x 142 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Don't tear me up 2019 mixed media on paper 90 x 60 cm

Nina Holmes
Don’t tear me up
2019
mixed media on paper
90 x 60 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Smudged Pathway 2019 mixed media on paper 90 x 60 cm

Nina Holmes
Smudged Pathway
2019
mixed media on paper
90 x 60 cm

Nina Holmes Overgrown 2019 mixed media on paper 90 x 60 cm

Nina Holmes
Overgrown
2019
mixed media on paper
90 x 60 cm
SOLD

Nina Holmes Landscape 2 (1) 2018 Oil on board 27 x 24 cm
Nina Holmes Landscape 2 (2) 2018 Oil on board 27 x 24 cm

Nina Holmes
Landscape 2
2018
Oil on board
27 x 24.5 cm

Nina Holmes Landscape 2 (3) 2018 Oil on board 27 x 24 cm

SOLD

Nina Holmes Camouflage 2018 Oil on board 24 x 32
Nina Holmes Landscape 1 2018 Acrylic & Oil on canvas 61 x 45cm

Nina Holmes
Landscape 1
2018
Acrylic & Oil on canvas
61 x 45.5 cm