A Contribution

by cholmesart

Although my book has been completed, an artist/friend was kind enough to still make his contribution. I did not want it to go to waste, I appreciate the gesture, and cannot thank him enough.


A recent body of work by Carol Holmes titled “Society Series” not only show mastery of skill in technique, but also shows her keen sense of composition, and her unique ability to affectively utilize color, texture, shape and line to create a visually stunning array of imagery.
Holmes repeatedly uses silhouetted birds as a symbolic element in her imagery.  They are sometimes in linear pattern, unified clusters, chaotic flight, small numbers in isolation, or long rows standing shoulder to shoulder on electric wires.  These (telephone or electric) wires crisscross her composition in all manners depending on what Holmes wishes to convey, or the compositional structure she wishes to achieve.  She combines these elements with images of factories, industrial buildings, and other structures.  These compositions are often complex arrangements that are geometric in nature, but sometimes entirely organic.  The feeling never the same, and always provocative; sometime troubling circumstance, juxtaposed with an innocuous title in parody of those so often used by the Bush administration, so carefully framed for the purpose of covering up some social injustice, like “The Clean Air Act” or “National Patriot Act”.
Holmes’ images are heavily laced with symbolism and imbued with a sense of intrigue and deep metaphorical content, always giving a sense that something is afoot; injustice, sad reality, hypocrisy, but sometimes a sense that something can be done, must be done…a slight glimmer of hope.
One of the most fascinating aspects of her imagery is her very textural, mood-producing, multi-color backgrounds.  They are sometimes mottled, or multilayered, the allusion of pealing or flaking deterioration, the appearance of acid-like stains running vertically across the picture plane, or sometimes a more subdued overall glow giving the feeling of eeriness, but always playing an important role in the feel of the composition.
Every image in this “Society Series” is surprising and uniquely different than the next; each image charged with energy, thought provoking, and of each piece contributes greatly to the whole body of work; each like the next chapter in a great novel. This is an outstanding body of work that takes the viewer on an incredible journey.  Together this series is truly greater than the sum of all of its parts.

                                                                                              David Lawson