Ash Holmes: Essence of the Northern Beaches

The art of balance, psychology of colour, energy of music and the landscape

The paintings of fourth-generation artist, Ash Holmes, speak of whimsical notions of abstraction, and the simplicity and nature of her home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Often working with large-scale canvases, Holmes creates a sensory effect by drawing from colour psychology — the harmonious tones of the environment connect her audience to the landscape she creates within. Texture is built through expressive brushstrokes and gestural mark-making to imprint the canvas in both oil and acrylic paint. “Mixing medium creates more interest in the piece, it breaks up the flow of one medium and interrupts another. This kind of push and pull between mediums combining I find really interesting” says the artist. 


Inspired by concepts from an impulsive vision or an unexpected muse, Ash Holmes’ artwork reveals traces of memory that pose sensitive reflections on the world. “Taking a thought and turning it into something you can view comes naturally!” Says the artist. “I act quite intuitively in my life when making decisions and I feel that is how the process of my work goes, too.” Intuition similarly plays an important role in letting the artist know when a work is complete. The visual poetics of the feminine is present in Holmes’ work, who paints after her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother before her, and this is felt in her soft palettes of predominantly muted pink and neutral tones. 


Despite her young age, Ash Holmes has already experienced huge successes in her career. She has been a finalist in several art prizes, including the Mosman Prize, the Combat Prize and the Lloyd Rees Memorial Award. In 2021 was chosen as the resident artist for the Harbord Hotel, Sydney. Holmes has also had sell-out exhibitions across Sydney, Byron Bay, Marbella, and her work is held in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, US, Denmark, Canada, Singapore, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, West Africa, France, Japan, China and Spain.

March 23, 2022