Judy Holding has established a strong identity as an artist through the development of a personal visual ‘vocabulary’ of symbolic forms. In particular, her beautifully realised depictions of trees and birds, through her sculptures and works on paper, reflect her abiding love of the diverse flora and fauna of Australia. Judy has travelled extensively through northern Australia gaining imagery for her practice and in doing so has forged deep bonds with Indigenous land owners. Consequently, she imbues her work with a palpable sense of the timeless quality of these landscapes that others recognise and are inspired by. Judy says of her paintings, “Working as a landscape artist in Australia, one is always conscious of those who have gone before. I have used the layering of watercolour images to stress the richness and unresolved tensions of the Australian bush.” Much of the motivation for her recent work is also drawn from her increasing concern with environmental issues affecting our natural world; “Genetic modification, industrial agriculture, global warming, fracking etc etc. It is becoming increasingly obvious just how much the fragility of natural systems and the interconnectedness of species is being ignored.” Her symbolic forms, painted in jewel-like colours, overlap and interact with each other in the construction of an artistic lexicon that appears unique in Australian art.
Judy Holding is a Melbourne based artist who has been practising for over thirty years. In 1977, she completed her Diploma of Fine Art at Monash University and since then has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Australia. In 2002, she exhibited in Le Sei Stagioni della Terra Australiana at the Monash University Centre in Prato, Italy and in 2007 was a finalist in the Montalto Sculpture Prize. Most recently, she was a finalist in the 2016 Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Award and has been shortlisted for the 2016 National Works on Paper Award at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery for her artist book – ‘Diary 1’. Her work is represented in collections throughout Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Monash University, Melbourne (Rare Books and Prints Collection), Benalla and Shepparton regional galleries.