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Kathleen Holmes

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

-T.S. Eliot

I was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1953, and grew up in the deep South. I incorporate found and self-made pieces of crocheted textiles into my work as metaphors for the particular patterns of my native Southern culture. These textiles are a tradition in my family going back as far as family legends recall. My earliest visual vocabulary was made up of intricate repetitive patterns formed by the skillful working of one continuous thread; now these patterns seem a metaphor about the nature of the many patterns we grow and live by; emotional, social, behavioral, and spiritual. Color and texture refer to the range and intricacy of these life patterns, and sculptural forms to their manifestations in all of us. Of specific interest to me is how these pieces of traditional handwork transcend the mere decorative by creating evocative domestic icons, subtly powerful and often innocently ironic. Cast glass represents the solidity of those domestic icons, and it’s translucency echoes the delicacy of women’s handwork, especially handmade laces. Rusted, pierced, and shaped metal refers to man-made aspects of society and provides the visual and conceptual counterpoint to the woman-made textiles, thereby creating a metaphorical duality. Found objects express our vernacular vocabulary. The archetypal dress is my homage to the countless generations of women and girls who, by perpetuating a social art form, have endowed my artistic heritage.


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