While Andrew Holmes' work fits in with today's environmental concerns and the obvious benefits of recycling, his influences forty years ago were artists who used found materials for their intrinsic qualities. He feels the word 'recycled' inappropriate in his case as it conjures up images of waste paper and glass being used again and again. His materials are carefully chosen for their colour and provenance, and relevance to the piece being constructed. Coming to Stoke on Trent in 1974, Andrew Holmes found a cornucopia of material in the slum clearance areas where nineteenth century workers' houses were being demolished.
    He used the inherent qualities of this material to make assemblages and constructions - totems and cupboards which were warm memorials to the past. His pieces always invited involvement from the spectator with their opening doors, drawers and unfolding parts. This led to work with a more functional purpose, firstly clock cases and then practical pieces of furniture. Andrew Holmes' early work was domestically-sized constructions in wood with some metal elements. However, he was interested in using other found building materials in his work and in the 1980's and 90's he undertook some exterior publicly-funded landscaped constructions in and around Stoke on Trent, in bricks, tiles and stone.


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