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I was born and raised in South Derbyshire in the 1960s and 70s, came to study in the West Midlands in the 1980s and have lived here ever since. 


I graduated with an MA in Fine Art (Merit) from Birmingham City University in October 2022 after returning to art following a long career as a journalist and writer. 


Art has morphed from being taught by my Grandad, a builder and carpenter and my Dad, an architect, on basic principles of drawing and accuracy as a child to me suddenly being overwhelmed by a desire to create as if my life depended on it, and sometimes I truly think it does. 

My art has changed a great deal over the past five years, moving from representational watercolour and oil painting to more abstracted pieces in mixed media, using acrylics, collage and lots of other materials. Some of my art has been transformed by big changes in my life, from personal loss during the pandemic to new friendships and connections made through my practice not just here in the UK but around the world. 

About my work 


For my MA, I focussed very much on creating collage, photomontage and assemblage from the finds in my mum's loft following her death from covid. It hadn't been opened since 1990 and contained magazines and documents dating back to the 1930s. My artwork focused primarily on the 1960s, 70s and 80s, exploring the similarities and differences between worlds four decades apart. From comics to technical journals, photos to photojournalism, there has been a rich seam of inspiration that continues to influence my work. 


My use of colour is inspired my mid-century designers Jan Pienkowski and Belinda Lyons, and I use colour to give a sense of how something feels, layering emotion through colour to reimagine people, places and memories.

Instagram @gillholtom


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