Lydia Holmes

 "My recent work has focused on hidden societies – places where no outsider is allowed in. What materialises behind these closed doors? Who are the people who populate these places? Are their psyches affected by their closed communities and restricted lives? Do they have sexual preferences and indulgences? What do they do for fun? Do they have ambitions, dreams or desires? How do they socialise and do they live out alternate characteristics?

No one is allowed behind the gates of the Abbey, the Papal Palace, or the Priory.

My characters are based on religious figures mostly painted by Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velazquez, Pompeo Batoni, Pietro Facchetti and others. The outward calm and pretentious dignity of these figures must surely hide some inner mischief or after hour delinquencies?

Considering that these closed societies are so hidden from our world, I have created an imaginary world of characters and events for the residents of these closed communities. What do they do for fun? Where might they go on holiday? Which small vices do they indulge in? Even though they live in isolation in a state of restraint, devotion and celibacy, are they so different from those who live outside of these closed communities?

My present series – Dressing for the Bishop’s Ball, depict ecclesiastical figures, out of their comfort zones, forced to dress up in their version of 'the little black dress'. They are rather staid men, robbed of their dignity, ceremonial dress and clerical status, having to 'go with the flow' in dress up for 'The Bishop’s Ball.'"


Lydia Holmes