I use things made by hand by other people, Holmwood adds, such as paint brushes, reproduction period pottery, wooden bowls, hand blown glass, all mixed in with modern things. I like the idea that I’m partaking in other peoples’ crafts and skills. Holmwood’s historical investigation is carried through in her chosen subjects and aesthetics. Half Swedish, Holmwood is inspired by the 19th-century peasant painters of the Darlarna province, whose folk art is a national symbol of Sweden. Based on an archive photo of the actual last peasant painter, the figures in The Last Peasant Painters Peeling Potatoes (Old Woman Mill) are sat in front of a typical Dalecarlian composition. The image seen on the wall is based on a folk legend of old women who are ground up in a mill and emerge rejuvenated. I painted the woodwork using a technique which these artists used to represent mahogany, Holmwood reveals. It’s paint glazed with a sour milk and pigment mixture and sealed with oil. It gives a psychedelic effect.

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