William opted out of having a pristine attendance record in school, in favour of more creative and rebellious pursuits. At this point, as a very young man, William would paint camouflaged patterns on toy soldiers and army vehicles. This soon extended to a 14 year old William painting footballers taking spectacular marks – something he jokingly ponders ‘perhaps I should have stuck to that idea…’
When he left Australia in his 20’s and traveled throughout Europe he involved himself in music and spent some time experiencing what the world had to offer. It was during this time that he felt the pull back towards his earlier artistic endeavours – he found himself forgoing music and immersing himself in serious art, sketching and painting in a more traditional style than he had previously explored. Fascinated by the cobble stoned streets and and old world buildings, he fell in love with art again. This lead him to return back to Australia and take on a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University where he then went on to complete his Masters.
The 6-7 years of university provided him with the chance to experiment with various forms including photography, sculpture and installation art. Towards the end of this academic marathon, while finishing writing his thesis, William notes that “the early forms of what would become my ‘fine art’ emerged as constant streams of ideas, material and the fascination with the challengers of painting began to surface”.
Alongside this academic pathway William was an Art Teacher at an independent gallery in Toorak. The owner used to offer his endless supply of old and disused house paints to William, and this was the catalyst for William’s painterly experimentation. The idea of recycled and unwanted paints appealed to him and he began working with these materials, manipulating them into large scale paintings. By trial and error, successes and failures, Holt slowly formed his unique method of mark-making.
William describes the act of creating as incredibly addictive and his sheer enjoyment and thrill of this form of art “conveys an endless internal landscape of the vitality of living and I always come away from my studio enriched and renewed”.
For 2016, William Holt has been invited to teach painting within a retreat on an Island in Philippines. Apart from teaching, his aim this year is to push the boundaries and produce the most powerful and original paintings he can. We at Tusk can certainly express our excitement for the noticeable immersed growth which Holt has achieved.