Friday, 10 October 2014


An exhibition of paintings by Christopher Joseph Holme, Artist, 1952 - 2010.

PR1 Gallery, Victoria Building, UCLan campus, Adelphi Street, Preston.

Exhibition: 3 - 14 November 2014

Preview: Thursday 6 November 6-9 pm
Curator tour with Q+A: Tuesday 11 November

Exhibition open 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri, or by appointment

Christopher Joseph Holme was a prolific painter; his artistic education began when he insisted on studying Art at O level, and his boys college in Preston offered no art classes. He attended the nearby girls school and continued on to pursue a Fine Art degree at Newcastle University under Professor Kenneth Rowntree. Holme then had to abandon his undergraduate degree in the second year, and continued to paint through serious bouts of illness throughout his life. His paintings, though not always comfortable to view as they often reflect the troubled worldview he was living with, display an extraordinary command of colour.

For this first retrospective exhibition of Holme's paintings, a small selection of works have been chosen that exemplify the fascinating iconography and sense of place that the artist developed and experimented with throughout his most prolific years, in the nineteen eighties and nineties. These paintings could be seen to communicate some aspects of the challenging mental states that Holme was experiencing intermittently during these years; whilst some of the chosen works incorporate challenging and disconcerting imagery others are playful, conveying a joyfulness within the same vocabulary of palette and gesture.


This exhibition has been made possible by the kind support and encouragement of Holme's family and PR1 Gallery, and is curated by Lauren Velvick.

Christopher Joseph Holme:

Christopher Joseph Holme was born in 1952 in Preston, Lancashire. He studied Fine Art under Professor Kenneth Rowntree at Newcastle University, and it was in his second year of study that Holme first became seriously ill, and was diagnosed with and treated for Schizophrenia, a disability that would go on to influence the course of the rest of his life.
In 1977 Holme moved back to his family home in Preston, during which time he was painting prolifically. Throughout Holme’s life family members and friends would purchase his work and commission paintings which supported his creative practice, and ensured that he could afford to continue. Many of Holme’s paintings are on corrugated cardboard, or other such cheap and readily available materials, even cupboard doors with the handles still attached can be found amongst his canvasses.
During the 1980’s Holme moved into a council flat in Ingol, Preston, where he continued to paint abundantly. It can be assumed that most of the pictures we have by Holme were painted during this time, or were at least stored there. The subjects of Holme’s paintings are wide and varied, with some showing experimentation with styles, whilst others play with symbolism and narrative, however there are particular motifs that appear again and again; the self portrait, the city or land-scape and interior spaces.

Lauren Velvick:

Lauren Velvick is a Writer, Curator, Editor and Arts Administrator based between Glossop, Manchester and Salford. She is currently Co-Director of the Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books, an artist-led reading room based in Manchester and Salford that launched in May 2014. She is a contributor to various local and national arts and culture publications and has written several essays directly responding to the work of local artists and collectives. She is also currently Web Editor for Corridor8, a North West based arts journal covering the whole of the North of England. Lauren graduated from the University of Manchester in 2010 with a degree in History of Art and in the following four years has taken part in and investigated local contemporary art and publishing, curating the exhibitions Sunk Costs in 2011, and Hoist by Our Own Petard as part of Free for Arts Festival in 2012.

If you would like more information please contact:

A large selection of Holme's painting can also be viewed here: