Sigrid Holmwood - Contemporary Artists

Church Boats

Church Boats The Saatchi Gallery

Sigrid Holmwood

Church Boats

Fluorescent egg tempera; lead white, iron oxide, raw sienna, Spanish glazing ochre, red lead, French ultramarine in oils; birch leaf lake in pine resin on board

137 x 122 cm

Church Boats depicts an enactment of a midsummer festival from Rättvik, in the region of Dalarna, where villagers cross a lake to attend church in boats adorned with wreaths made from birch. The yellow paint used in the scene is made from birch leaves. Its style and hues are reminiscent of impressionism. “I am interested in 19thc themes,” Holmwood says of her nostalgic aesthetics. “That’s the period when they started to feel rural culture was being lost, and artists made a real political gesture against the city. Van Gogh went to Provence to live with peasants, and likened the act of painting to the peasants ploughing their fields. I like the idea that there is a history of artists doing that, artists trying to rough it. The psychedelic colours refer to the hippie movement, going back to the land, living in communes, which is a similar sentiment. I think these ‘hippie ideas’ are having a resurgence today with people growing their own vegetables in allotments and the ‘slow food movement’... I think of my work as being a ‘slow painting movement’.”
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