Sigrid Holmwood’s work focuses on the ways in which the hand-making of materials generates meaning and resists the alienation of industrialised life. She hand-makes her own pigments and dyes made from traditionally grown and foraged plants and organic materials and her images portray peasant figures and pastoral scenes; not as an idealized or passive subjects to please a western or bourgeois sensibility but as images produced in the context of the “peasant painter”. Holmwood is particularly interested in the ‘open air museum’ and traditional heritage industries as a manifestation of an increasing interest in the crafts of everyday life – specifically those belonging a rural past – as a response to the alienation of industrial and post-industrial society. Holmwood rejects the notion in Western and European painting traditions that separates nature from culture. She herself, has adopted a persona of ‘The Peasant-Painter’, constructed through the framework of her membership of a historical interpretation society who regularly perform at open air museums.
Holmwood spent two months in China extending this research to the Eastern tradition, especially noted for being the birthplace of paper making. Preparations for this trip included learning the Western adaptation of paper making techniques, as well as asking the team at Vitamin Creative Space to plant Chinese Indigo to be ready for harvest upon her arrival. During her stay in China, Holmwood travelled to the village of WuMu in the remote Yulong mountains in the far southwestern province of Yunnan, where she stayed with two shamans of the ethnic minority Naxi people.
Sigrid Holmwood was born in 1978 and studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford and the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths Colleges, London. In 2003 she was awarded the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Drawing at the British School in Rome. Holmood’s works have been shown widely in the UK in solo exhibitions and also Italy, Sweden, Spain and China. Annely Juda Fine Art has held three major shows: “The Peasants Are Revolting” in 2017, “Journey to WuMu- Paper Paintings” (with Duan Jianyu) in 2012 and “1857 Paintings” in 2008. She has featured in many group and curated exhibitions including ‘Creating the Countryside’ at Compton Verney in Warwickshire in 2007 and in 2011 ‘Polemically Small” at Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles USA & The Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide; British Art Now, Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships and residences.