"Holohan's creations are extremely beautiful:her figures and landscapes are at once graceful and ethereal; her palette simple and compelling. Holohan's work is to be celebrated and encouraged" Fiona Whitehouse, Art Historian, University of London
Maria Holohan is a Textile Artist who is passionate about the drawing process.
Her most significant work to date 'The Mental Fairy Tale' is inspired by the darker side of the “Classic Fairy Tale”. Cinderella, for example is a bold but uncertain figure, constructed, like her own self-concept, from fragments of cloth. The collage surface, quilted, scraped or raised, connotes the inability of humans to master their emotional environment.
IN MY OWN WORDS
I am passionate about textiles; particularly vintage fabric. The diversity and life stories attached to fabric and the history of where it came from, is at the heart of what inspires and challenges me. I am an avid collector of primary sources, to which I respond instinctively by drawing, painting and stitching using a combination of techniques and mediums to produce movement and depth within my work, which in turn evokes memory and emotion. My aim is to make a statement about existence.
Since graduating from Swansea Metropolitan University with a (BA) Hons Surface Pattern Design (Contemporary Applied Arts) I have aimed to continually develop myself as an artist, workshop facilitator, event organiser and Curator.
My collection of work was formally recognised when I was awarded a Distinction Licentiateship from the Society of Designer Craftsman in 2007, selected for Talente 2008 skilled Trades Fair, Munich and Chianciano Biennale, Siena, Italy 2009.
I have generated, planned, delivered and evaluated over 50 workshops for various Councils, Schools, Charities and Art Centres. This involves training, coaching, mentoring and motivating a wide range of age groups from 4-65 years.
I thrive on delivering workshops to groups of people, assisting in a creative exploration using a variety of themes through the use of mixed media. Projects include a combination of drawing, illustration, collage, embroidery and painting focusing on responding to a brief, developing a concept and creating work that is original and inspiring. Workshops are adapted to suit any theme or time scale, so the needs of an organisation and individuals can be met.
My practical teaching ability has been recognised by clients including the following received from the Director of Craft Angels:
"Maria is a conscientious and thoughtful teacher and the feedback from participants in her workshops was excellent, citing her friendliness and ability to communicate well" Jenny Rolfe, Director.
I am active member of Artsite charity based in Swindon where I have a studio. The charity provides the opportunity for people to re-engage with art and culture by advocating, promoting and delivering projects in the community.
Comments received from 'Telling Tales' exhibition, The Beetroot Tree Gallery, Derby, 2007
"Maria Holohan's work is so inspirational, exciting & thought provoking. The Mental Fairy Tale book really freaks me out - it's like she lives in my head! Such a brilliant work of art & expression of life".
"Fantastic, fantasy, macabre all mixed into a series of streams of thought. The Mental Fairy Tale series is both amazing, scary & breath taking. Never seen anything like it".
"A wonderful exhibition! Excellently curated. So much talent in one room. Everything requiring more than a fleeting glance. Loved Maria Holohans work. So inspirational."
CV & Education
Qualifications and training
2007 - Craft Angels mentoring Scheme , The Model House, Llantrisant, Wales
2006 - BA (hons) Surface Pattern Design (Contemporary Applied Arts) 2:1, Swansea Metropolitan University, Dynevor Centre of Art,Design & media , Swansea
2006 - The Mental Fairy Tale Series , The County Hall, Swansea, Wales
2010 - Illustrate Your Point , Swindon Art Centre, Swindon
2010 - Parallel Lives , The Post Modern Gallery , Theatre Square, Swindon
2010 - Stories, Wolverhampton Art Gallery , Wolverhampton
2009 - Enchantment, The Post Modern Gallery & Studio's , Swindon
2009 - New, The Post Modern Gallery, Theatre Square, Swindon
2009 - The Biennale of Chianciano, Museum of Art Chianciano Terme, Siena, Italy
2009 - Tros Gynnal Charity Art Auction 2009, Swansea Museum, Swansea
2008 - Myths, Folklore & Fairy Tale , The Oriel Washington Gallery , Penarth, Wales
2008 - TALENTE 2008, Munich Exhibition Centre, Munich
2008 - Talente 2008, New Munich Trade Fair Centre, Munich, Germany
2007 - One Fine Day , Society of Designer Craftsmen Gallery , Rivington Street, London
2007 - Society Designer Craftsmen annual exhibition, The Mall galleries, London
2007 - Telling Tales , The Beetroot Tree Gallery , Draycott, Derbyshire, England
2007 - The Textile Art & Weaving Festival , Trowbridge Museum , Trowbridge, Wiltshire
2007 - Welsh Artist of the Year , St Davids Hall , Cardiff
2006 - Final Year Degree Show - The Space Between, The Grande Theatre, Swansea, Wales
2006 - Graduate Show Case Part II , Exposure Gallery , College Street, Swansea
2006 - New Designers , Business Design Centre, Islington, London
2006 - Swansea Summer Open , Exposure gallery, College Street, Swansea, Wales
2006 - Swansea Summer Open , Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Alexandra Road, Swansea
2010 - 'Its Good To be Me' , Malmesbury Church Of England Primary School, Malmesbury
2009 - Mixed media drawing, Creative & Media Diploma, Trowbridge Museum, Wiltshire
2009 - Skills Festival , Lackam College , Wiltshire
2008 - 'Alice In Wonderland', mixed media drawing (Developing a concept), Swindon Academy , Swindon
2008 - What Music Means To Me , Arts for Health - Psychotherapy & Counselling Centre, Bodmin, Cornwall
2007 - Memory Lane - Fernhill Community Group , The Old School , Llantrisant, Wales
2007 - Memory Lane - Mountain Ash Cancer Support Group, Mountain Ash Community Centre , Mountain Ash, Wales
2007 - What Music Means To Me - Young designer group, The Old School , Llantrisant, Wales
2010 - Life at Prior Park , Prior Park Preparatory School, Cricklade, Wiltshire
2008 - A Family Portrait , Artsite , Swindon
2008 - A Family Portrait , Embroidery & applique on canvas , Swindon
2008 - Fields of Gold , Embroidery & applique on canvas , Swindon
2008 - Portobello Doll , Embroidery & applique on canvas , Swindon
2006 - Gretel , Mono print on tissue paper , Cardiff, Wales
2006 - Kitche Kat , Embroidery & applique on canvas , Cardiff
2010 - Re-enchantment - an interactive multi-platform documentary project , On-line, television and radio , Film Art Media Pty Ltd, PO Box 1312, Vic 3066
Competitions, prizes and awards
2009 - Highly Commended Prize for Embroidery , Museum of Art Chianciano Terme, Chianciano, Italy
2008 - Talente 2008 Award , Munich Exhibition Centre, Munich
2007 - Distinction Licentiateship , The Society of Designer Craftsmen , The Mall Galleries, London
2007 - Shortlisted, Sir Leslie Joseph Young Artist Award , The Glynn Vivian , Swansea, Wales
2006 - Awarded a Licentiateship from the Society of Designer Craftsmen (LSDC), invited to their annual exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
Educational experience - special needs
2006 - Art Teaching Assistant, Create Day Centre , Swansea, Wales
2009 - The Biennale of Chianciano Catalogue
2009 - The Dictionary of Artists in Wales since 1945
2008 - Ex Book, Swansea Metropolitan University
2008 - Talente 2008 Catalogue
2007 - Embroidery Magazine - Feature story - Jan/Feb Issue
2007 - White Chimney Magazine - Featured artist - Autumn Issue
2007 - White Chimney Magazine - Featured artist - Spring Issue