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ROSS HOLDEN | ’13 Million Miles’ and ‘300 Billion Years’
August 17th 2022
Returning from his travels along the Silk Road in Central Asia, Ross Holden experienced how memories little by little condensed into impressions of light, colour, sound and smell. Reflecting on his observations, while using the thousands of photographs as a trigger of memories, the artist found a new direction in his practice where the key sensations of a moment were translated into single blocks of flat colour, then compiled in complex kaleidoscopic patterns. The two works on paper, 13 Million Miles (Diamond) and 300 Billion Years (In The Past), exemplifies his conceptual idea and are a remarkable achievement as debut print editions, consisting of up thirty layers of ink; each single colour representing a specific memory from his journey.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
Holden vividly remembers the air conditioning unit in the small hotel room in Shiraz. As a three-star hotel, and at least one of the attributed stars being questionable, it came with the amenities of modern hospitality. Gaslights on the wall could be turned on-and-off on a click-switch and to the best of its effort, the tired A/C unit tried to keep the heat and high humidity outside the room. The result was a constant submission of a low-frequency humming that kept him awake, night after night. Over the years - and likely from a combination of exhaustion and the thick dusty air - the small metal box had changed from a sterile industrial white colour to a scruffy tobacco-ish cream hue. A colour so reminiscent of his stay that it became imprinted in Holden’s memory.

Twelve months prior to the adventure of driving through Central Asia, Holden was living in London and building a career in illustration and editorial design. A comfortable and somewhat reliable existence, yet at the same time one he struggled to fully settle into. Opportunities were everywhere and he repeatedly found himself in search of a creative direction that seemed right. At the flame of opportunity Holden threw the everyday predictability into the air and left the English capital in the early spring of 2009, heading east on a three-month journey. He returned four years later.

The journey eventually took him across Central-Asia, South America and Africa, and during the trip Holden and the trusted companions - a camera and a notebook - became inseparable. Everywhere he went he photographed places, people, objects and ‘moments’ while taking extensive notes about what couldn’t be captured through the viewfinder, such as smells and sounds. Holden became particularly interested in what he refers to as the “penultimate moment”, a moment just before something passes; a speeding train, the flicker of a flame or even a dying thought. To such extend the photos from his journey are more than a reminder of the visual elements of a place, but also act as a catalyst for the emotions and feelings he was experiencing at the moment the shutter clicked. The twelve thousand photographs shot during his trip is today a constant source of inspiration to the artist’s practice and work.
ROSS HOLDEN
13 Million Miles (Diamond), 2017

Edition of 50
6 Artist Proof (APs)

85(w) x 85(h) cm
33.46(w) x 33.46(h) inches
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ROSS HOLDEN
13 Million Miles (Diamond), 2017

Edition of 50
6 Artist Proof (APs)

85(w) x 85(h) cm
33.46(w) x 33.46(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Ross Holden (British, b. 1972)
85(w) x 85(h) cm
33.46(w) x 33.46(h) inches
30 colour screenprint on Somerset satin 410gsm with handtorn edges and debossed.

Signed and numbered on front.
Edition of 50
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
£ 1,085.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Back in London, Holden started to experiment with photo collages. Two of the artist’s early works, ‘Brighton 01’ and ‘Baghdad Sun’, laid the foundation of his practice, and later series - perfected over coming ten years - are an investigation of the world surrounding him, simply created by cropped information obtained visually through his camera. Presented as circular compositions in mesmerising repetitive patterns, his works showed an alternative and fascinating perception of a past reality.

Similarly, the essence of the artist’s debut screenprints comes from photographs, which for Holden are the ‘residue’ of a moment, day, or country they represent. The conceptual idea for 13 Million Miles (Diamond) and 300 Billion Years (In The Past) derives from photographic fragments which are then developed into the vision for the final piece by taking the most memorable colour from each photograph and filling it into a defined grid; as if breaking that passing moment down to its simplest form.

It was during his travels that Holden, unintentionally, collected the material for 13 Million Miles (Diamond) and 300 Billion Years (In The Past). He actively looked for what connected us all; habits, emotions, colours, symbols, and eventually whittled each down to one or a few hues. The colour selected for the work therefore both speak a universal language, as well as having a very personal connection to the artist. Where others might just see the colour, Holden sees the moment or object in some of the colours: the orange hoody of the girl in Kyrgyzstan; the faded blue of an old sun bleached picture; or the seaweed-green from the big metal letters spelling “clothes” on a neglected sign above a street shop. Holden still clearly recalls the moments or objects represented by some of the colours, like the tobacco-cream hue in 13 Million Miles (Diamond) epitomising the air conditioning unit in Shiraz.
ROSS HOLDEN
300 Billion Years (In The Past), 2018

Edition of 50
6 Artist Proof (APs)

85(w) x 85(h) cm
33.46(w) x 33.46(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
Your Offer *
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
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ROSS HOLDEN
300 Billion Years (In The Past), 2018

Edition of 50
6 Artist Proof (APs)

85(w) x 85(h) cm
33.46(w) x 33.46(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Ross Holden (British, b. 1972)
85(w) x 85(h) cm
33.46(w) x 33.46(h) inches
26 colour screenprint on Somerset satin 410gsm with handtorn edges and debossed.

Signed and numbered on front.
Edition of 50
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
£ 1,085.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
The idea that a collection of colour can represent an entire memory of a place found popularity in the late nineteenth-century with the impressionist movement. Artists at the time tried to depict their own personal experience of the world, deciphering landscapes to layers of colour and texture, resulting in more abstract impressions of a scene rather than a true ‘reality’. An interesting comparison can be made between Impressionist ideals, and Holden’s work, which is also an attempt to portray a sense of ‘place’ through pure colour. However, Holden benefits from modern technology and the means of the digital camera being able to capture multiple images in an instant that can then be stored away indefinitely. For this reason, his works are impressions of the past - as implied by the titles of the works which reference time and distance - rather than the moment.

Holden’s way of working to achieve the final colour palette for the prints means that this work is not about colour theory, often explored by an artist through placing one perfect hue next to another. Instead it is a documentation of the world around us, representing taxis, skin, tarmac, skies, wildlife, candy wrappers, fast food outlets, clothing and everything else. Colour which is not uniformed or balanced.

The perceived sense of uniformity comes through the artist’s clever use of geometric structures that emerge abstract at first glance. A fascination for Holden is the similarities between patterns and structures that were in use simultaneously across continents before there was any knowledge of the others’ existence. His theory for this is that it stems from the straight lines and triangular shapes that could be naturally drawn between stars - a divine formation of the sky above. This is reflected in the structure of the two works; an all-important white line that holds in the blocks of colour.

13 Million Miles (Diamond) and 300 Billion Years (In The Past) are intriguing in how they portray memories in unique hues arranged in aesthetic patterns, but also the way they mark a noticeable shift in Holden’s practice; from photo collages of cropped imagery to condensed ‘impressions’ of his trip along the Silk Road.

Essentially a manifesto to the works that followed in Ross Holden’s practice, 13 Million Miles (Diamond) and 300 Billion Years (In The Past) are two astonishing debut screenprints. Thirty and twenty-six manually printed layers of ink and a gentle debossing to the outline of the geometrical shape - bringing the colour out and away from the paper - make these two works on paper amongst the most ambitious print editions released in collaboration with an artist in the twenty years of Eyestorm. Each edition of 50 is signed and numbered on front.

To view the print editions in more detail and to find more information about available works by Ross Holden, visit his artist page here.
 
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A moment almost everyone has experienced but perhaps never stopped to observe or consider, Henrik Simonsen portrays the last days of summer with affection and gratefulness. A time when nature’s colour palette is slowly starting to replace the bloom and greens of summer and turning them into richer and yellow hues, enhanced by the sun’s position lower on the horizon; filtering the rays through trees and bushes before reaching the thicket and underwood. Simonsen’s unique ability to depict not only the figurative elements of nature, but to tell stories, and induce unexpected emotions through his works, is exceptionally illustrated in the print edition, Late Summer.
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A fraction of a second was all Marc Riboud needed to explain an often complex situation. Always camera by his side, the French photographer quickly earned the trust of people he met, using the lens to break down barriers between cultures and ideas. His sincere photographs opened doors wherever he visited; from elected politicians and distrusted dictators, to passers-by and movie celebrities. Exploring most corners of the world throughout his career, yet insisting he was not a globetrotter, Riboud - as his work - is an example of seeing the nuances in simplicity. The acrobat painter in Paris (1953) and Jaipur (1956) belong to some of the artist’s most famous photographs. Two works that have circled the earth, living a life of their own.
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INTEREST IN EARLY PRINT EDITIONS BY LUCIE BENNETT
Pink Knickers
For more than a decade Lucie Bennett has been seducing viewers with her silhouette line drawings of haunting sirens, alluring pin-ups and supernatural nymphs. Her print editions from 2005 - 2012 are increasingly being requested by collectors.

If you own a print, such as Pink Knickers, Green Felt Tip Girl or Red Felt Tip Girl and you wish to sell, we have clients who are looking for select pieces. You can get in touch with us via the Contact page, which you can find here.
 
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