Martha Holmes captures the essence of the Cornish coastline through abstract studies of colour and light. Her work is charged by a deep connection to the ocean and it’s ever-changing influence on the landscapes she paints.
'The Island Revisited' introduces a new collection of paintings encompassing the distinct colours and forms found around The Island (St Ives), paired with compositions and structures which characterise my studio interior. Having returned to the beach hut to work on the majority of the collection, the presence of The Island became a distinct subject in the body of the work. The paintings capture the seasonal shift into spring, with soft sage greens and fresh whites. The sweeping curve of the tide has continued to be a pivotal mark in many of the works- a shape noticed from the beach hut as the tide shifts and the intensity of the light alters. Bursts of fresh greens and vivid cobalt blues became present in the paintings as the days in the beach hut becomes warmer, and daylight hours longer. Working on a mix of scales allowed a different feeling of 'immersion' into the landscape. Smaller works are more intimate, often capturing a particular feeling felt in the environment, whereas larger compositions offer an expanse of space, with simpler, more paired back marks and flat planes of colour.
New to this series is a small 'studio edit' - a body of still life paintings that capture moments within the studio and interior of the beach hut. Vessels of seasonal blooms, full of warmth and colour, bring a more considered and refined feel to the collection.
Martha Holmes 2023