See the beauty of the urban world with Clare Holdstock

Published: Thursday 7th December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Ruin Values investigates the 21st century manmade world, from ugly architecture to functional road signs and modern technology.

We caught up with the talented artist behind the sculpture-based exhibition, Clare Holdstock, to find out how everyday cityscapes can be considered art.

Great to catch up with you, Clare. What can we expect from your exhibition?

At Ruin Values, you can expect to see an exhibition of contemporary sculpture and wall-based pieces. All of the work in the exhibition is new and a lot of it is quite playful.

Cast objects make up a lot of what is displayed It’s pretty different from what you might expect when you think of “art”, but it’s exciting and challenging work that has been produced by an artist based in Hull.

What was your main inspiration when creating work for this exhibition?

The work explores my own ideas and take on the 21st century’s urban political landscape.

I’m really interested in architectural histories and what thoughts inform the planners and architects that create the environments that we live in.

For example, a lot of Modernist and Brutalist architecture and high-rise landscapes were originally created with optimistic ideas about a wonderful future society that could be clean, modern and bright.

Today, these good intentions have been turned on their head. In many cases, these forms of architecture are seen as completely ugly and derided. My work uncovers these ideas and concepts, as well as the aesthetic appearance of their spaces.

Have you done anything like this before?

Yes, I have had several solo exhibitions before. Last year, there was one at Artlink on Princes Avenue and I also did another in Leeds at an artist-led space called Lady Beck. More recently, my work was shown at Ground Gallery at an exhibition that finished last week.

However, this is my first solo show in Hull City Centre, so it’s really nice that people are popping in whilst they’re out shopping and sightseeing. Ruin Values is my most recent body of work, so I’m super excited and still feel very close to it.

Have you always been an artist?

I’ve always loved drawing and painting, but I’d say I’ve been properly making art in a serious sense for just a couple of years.

I graduated with a painting degree at Camberwell College of Arts in London back in 2014. I’ve been really lucky to move back to Hull. It’s such a great place to live and work as an artist, as well as being really affordable.

There is also a wonderful budding art scene, especially with the opening of spaces like Queens House and Humber Street Gallery, where I work as a gallery assistant. On that note, Humber Street Gallery is beginning to put together a fantastic programme to support emerging artists in the coming years, too.

What do you love most about art and creating?

I just love making things. Being able to sit for hours basically playing around with materials can be so much fun. I personally feel that making art is great for mental wellbeing. I also love seeing what other artists are working on, both in Hull and the rest of the UK.

Lastly, why should people pop in to see Ruin Values?

To see playful sculpture. People can see something that they haven’t seen before. The work is about historical design movements, so they might even learn something, too.

I’m running free Jesmonite casting workshops in the space from 11am to 4pm on Thursday 7th and Wednesday 13th December – come along to get the chance to make a small cast sculpture for yourself!

Ruin Values runs at Queens House, Paragon Street until Friday 15 December. To find out more about Clare’s work, please visit her website

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Published: Thursday 7th December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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