I was in awe when I first came across the work of Kathleen Holmes. Her signature sculptural form, is a simple dress – a dress we would all recognise, but something which has the ability to look incredibly powerful in all it’s purest form.
|Tailor Maid • Mermaid • Woman of Letters|
Kathleen Holmes grew up in the Deep South, where crochet, sewing, and embroidery were utilitarian crafts for generations of women. She incorporates all these traditions in her sculpture with the intricate patterns and textures, all paying homage to her cultural and visual heritage.
|House & Garden • Midnight Writer • Baby Doll|
“My first vocabulary was visual, not verbal, and it is this earliest vocabulary which continues to inform and enrich the mixed-media elements in my work.”
|Getaway Gown • Supermodel • Always a Bridesmaid|
Kathleen creates her work like a seamstress, cutting patterns and using wire thread to ‘sew’ the galvanized sheet-metal bodices, which eventually rust to look like soft suede. She also casts her glass sculpture using fabric covered form, some in solid glass, some hollow to let the light through, whereas some are painted.
She has created a large body of work and I had difficulty choosing which images to show and chose to show principally the work that features buttons but do go and check out the rest of her work here.
|Crystal Ball Gown • Prose Path • Mariposa|
“I incorporate found and self-made pieces of crocheted textiles into my work as metaphors for the particular patterns of my native Southern culture. Of specific interest to me, is how these pieces of traditional handwork transcend the mere decorative by creating evocative domestic icons, powerful and often innocently ironic.”