Looking Back, Looking Forward

This year, more than any, has been one of challenges, resilience friendship,  community, and of course, creativity. That I have been able to continue with my practice alongside many other new roles (carer, gardener, handy-person, appointments manager) has only been possible with the continued support from friends, colleagues and health professionals. Through Derek's resilience and hard work on his physio we began to get back up on our feet, so to speak,. Sadly he had a fall and broke his hip in the Autumn and 12 weeks on is up and about more. After a year of reflection we recognise just what the term 'Stroke Survivor' means and how it impacts on both our lives, and what we have been able to learn and adjust to a new way of 'being'. 

Above are Aerogramme letters Derek sent to me in the early days of our relationship when I was studying in Japan. He sent 80-90 'bluies' while I was for 3 months in the Autumn on a Churchill Fellowship. In one he reports that our friend had made a cake for us for Christmas,  Elkie, one of the dogs that lived with us at the time, had got into the cupboard and ate the entire thing!!! It is this dry take on the world and his ability to focus on the things that matter and not taking ourselves too seriously, which has remained a constant. Flexibility has been the key to my exhibiting and teaching, where I have been able to bring many of the newly developed skills discovered during the pandemic into play. These are selected highlights


This time last year marked the beginning of a major tour of my exhibition Spaces Places Traces. It started on LV21  in Gravesend, went onto R-Space,Lisburn in Northern Ireland before travelling on to Sint Anna-ten-Drieën in Antwerp in the Summer 2022-23, before coming to The Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Art Gallery, where it will be on show until it final day on Saturday 7 January 2023 when I will be in the gallery between 2.00 and 3.00pm for a 'Meet the Artist' session.

Below are a few images of the installation The Shipping Forecast and Empty Vessels at the gallery. More details about this work here.

Work in response to What We Value, What We Miss small domestic pieces by individuals and a group piece A Story Cloth of Our Time by 52 Stitched Stories, Isle of Arran. Read more about all the contributors to date here.

This exhibition then travels to Scotland and Wales completing its own 'four nations' tour. Details are posted on my website. 

Other exhibitions:

Found:Art Textile Made in Britain continued its tour in the UK following its exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in 2021. I am grateful for my fellow artists for hanging and transporting the works for me. We are currently working on a new exhibition 'Illuminate'  which will be available to tour from Autumn 2023

I was delighted to have ‘The Downs: Wind Torn’ featured  in the touring exhibition  “For the Love of Gaia” at the New England Quilt Museum Jan-Apr 2022 

Painting with Cloth completed its tour at Farfield Mill in Sedbergh, Cumbria March to May. Take a tour with this video by Fibre Arts Takes Two

I had a piece in the Embroiderer's Guild Collections exhibition. called Emakimono at the Knitting and Stitching Show, (you can hear more about it here). I also finally caught up with a much delayed book signing on the Batsford stand. I will be doing a project with the Guild in 2023 check out future posts.

Interviews, teaching and lecturing 

I was so pleased to have been able to lead my first 'in-person workshop at West Dean College as part of a series of special one-off courses to mark the 50th anniversary of its founding by Edward James, poet, patron of the arts and visionary of the 20th century. West Dean has supported my work by enabling me to offer Zoom courses over the last year but I will be so pleased to be back in-person in September 2023

I gave a number of other virtual talks and workshops over the year including: 

'Making Connections' course with Fibre Arts Takes Two. I will be running this course again in April 2023. You can access my interview here

Fashion and Textile Museum in July (I am yet to make a much desired visit).

Workshops to support mental health and wellbeing with the Mental Fight Club

Creative West End in partnership with Good Things Collective

Private workshops and talks with textile groups and schools.

Interview series Inspired to Create with Jennifer Steck Arts in July. 

I am pleased to have some projects and workshops planned for 2023 and will be updating my workshop and events posts in the New Year. 

I am creating in smaller snatches of time and can always see a 'Glimmer' of possibilities. Happy New Year.


wapiti said…
Dear Cas,
I was one of the lucky visitors of the exhibition in Antwerp. I went there three times and as soon as you'll have a new project in Belgium or in The Netherlands, I'll be there with some friends!
If possible, I would like to 'do' one of your workshops. I hope, you will be able to post a list of future workshops (online, Zoom or otherwise).

I wish you a very fine new year , full of joy and a good health.

Christ'l Beyers
Cas Holmes said…
Dear Christ'l Beyers
I have emailed oyu privately. Thankyou for your kind comments

Arunnai said…
Great blog! Loved your insightful content and engaging writing style


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