Friday 16 September 2011

Shellie Holden

Wall Paper - Mounted Paper Textile Approx. 60 x 115 cm


Q So who is Shellie Holden?

I am an artist/maker, wife and mother brought up in Lancashire, trained originally in embroidery at MMU, Manchester then later at Goldsmiths University, London. I lived in London for 11 years before relocating to Wales two years ago, having been drawn to living by the coast.



Behind Clouds - Framed Paper Textile - 41cm x37cm


Q How did you decide to become a maker?

Naturally progressed from a background steeped in creative and practical endeavours. It seemed the most obvious and fulfilling direction for me to take.


Text Book


Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?

Low cost/low key/reclaimed- freedom they gave to be experimental and non-precious with the opportunity to turn them into something unique and valuable because of the labour and investment of time spent in the making.

Extracted Teeth Book and Neckpiece


Q Are there any other materials you would like to explore and work in?

I have recently been producing a series of laser cut paper textiles and this has led to an interest in working with more precious materials such as silver and copper as this would enable me to produce more robust pieces hat could be used for both interior pieces and body adornment.



Q What are you currently working on

Several projects - one of which involves looking after my new-born! I’m catching moments in-between to work on pieces, including the project described above. I am also completing a piece for the ‘First Anniversary: Paper’ exhibition, 5th May- 31st July 2011, at Unit Twelve, Tixall Heath Farm, Tixal, Stafford, ST18 0XX and also for an exhibition at Newport Art Gallery and Museum, Wales, with Fibre Arts Wales, a textile group that I am affiliated, 30th April - 11th June.


Q Where do get your inspiration from?

Difficult to pinpoint exactly - my surroundings, attitude to life, experiences and chance occurrences. Perhaps something someone has said, or something I have seen that triggers a response or reaction.


Q What motivates you on a cold winter’s day?

Being in my home. I collect and acquire pieces of furniture, objects and textiles which I enjoy refurbishing, restyling and reinventing. This is an on-going project, which I see as part of my creative work. I like the idea that objects can evolve and change, but can also be timeless when mixed with traditional and contemporary styles.

Stitched and Constructed Textile Painting  - Dimensions 92cm x 92 cm each


Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?

I have a studio from home in the loft of our Victorian property. It’s a unique space, which has slanted walls and an original fireplace. I have furnished this with tables and chairs I have acquired over the years, each which has its own story. They just happen to fit perfectly around the edge of the room leaving me a big open space in the middle. I love walking to the top of the staircase and entering the room. It is my sanctuary.

Q What is your working style?

It is very much about collecting and collating, reclaiming and reinventing. I approach my work with an idea, which I then aim to convert into visual objects/pieces through a process of experimentation with materials and techniques.

Q What does a typical day look like?

Varied - Some days/weeks I am able to devote entire periods to the production of new work, which I find deeply gratifying and inspiring. Other times I am distracted by domestic chores, and other projects, which perhaps take me away from the immediate task of making although give me the time and space to process ideas and consider new or different approaches, which are equally valuable to my work as a whole.

Stitched and Constructed Textile Painting 2 - Dimensions 50cm x 40 cm


Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?

Versatility, vitality, diversity - breaking the rules, revisiting traditional materials and techniques, experimenting with new technology. Less about trying to categorise, more about (effortless) originality.

Q How do you sell and promote your work?

I am a member of CAA, London, Fibre Arts Wales and Textile Forum South West (TFSW). I’ll be showing work at the two exhibitions due to open (mentioned above), and am hoping to sell work directly through my website soon.

Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...

Perseverance, persistence and passion!


Corsages - hand made in fabric or paper. Approx. 10 cm circumference


Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?

Wide and varied including photography, sculpture, painting, textiles, mixed media….. Includes Jeff Wall, Cy Trowbly, Sarah Sze, Jonathan Callen, Louise Hopkins, Joseph Cornels….My husband recently brought me an exhibition catalogue featuring photographs by Robert Polidori which I am currently looking at.


Q What music are you listening to at the moment?

Wintermusik by Nils Frahm, The Blue Notebooks by Max Richter, Music for Egon Schiele, by Rachel’s, Found Songs by Olafur Arnalds……


Q What do you do to relax?

Fresh sea air (and a swim in the sea in summer) always helps.


Ordnance survey of England, Kingsbridge and District (third edition) sheet 150, 1908-9 - updated in London 2006 Dimensions and Ordnance survey of England, Cornwall and Devonshire 1919 - updated in London 2006 - Framed Stitched Drawing 75cm x 87cm