Art Display - Jonathan Holden

Here's an Art display I made from bricks, rebar and plastic sheet, all found on the streets of Gracia!

How to work with concrete

Here's some tips and links:

Lifewater A page about concrete from a Well-making charity.

Art Concrete Tips on how to use concrete for art.

Technical Concrete Information

Here's some artists:

David French Some cast sculptures.

Carved Concrete With ash from Mount St. Helens!

Hannes Kuehtreiber Small scale concrete block art.

Joaquin Aviña Concrete furniture.

Carol Boram-Hays Abstract sculpture.

Deborah Brackenbury Concrete Bowls

Curt Pieper Concrete Furniture

Working with concrete

Well... here it is at last... I have started working with concrete... and discovered that I'm going to need to hunt for a lot more moulds! I started by filling a mould with water in order to give me the right amount of concrete, but even with pouring most of it on the floor (see pics!) I still made much more concrete than I needed for that one mould. I'm also cheating with three moulds but sticking extra bits on polystyrene over "holes" in the mould. I'm just hoping that the concrete comes out easily, and I can re-use the moulds.

Five first works

Here are five of my favourite current works:

Carte JD Holden 2010
Darts JD Holden 2010

Earth JD Holden 2010

Farty JD Holden 2010

Garth JD Holden 2010

Comments on "WIP - The City"

My first series of "Works on Paper - The City" are coming on rather well, though I do say so myself. It should be apparent that some of these are pretty raw, rough ideas, and that others are fairly close to what the final pieces will look like. I've enjoyed the discipline of working with limitations - limited colours, shapes, embossings; but also limited titles too. Some of the titles have given me more of a problem than others, and I am trying to do two or three ideas for each title, in order to give myself more opportunity to create a coherent whole, to feel that the language of the work is coming together. I'm trying to follow the advice Michael Young gave to Julie Mehretu "to make drawings, hundreds of drawings. To get lost in the process." I am hoping this will lead me, as it has for Mehretu, "to use her new vocabulary of marks...[to create] an internal world made in a language of her own invention" (The New Yorker Mar29,2010).

This is one of my first attempts at printing. I realised that there was a real sense of movement here, potentially falling off the page.
From first ideas

And this one gave a sense of meandering across the page, and off the paper.
From first ideas

It was these first attempts that gave me the idea of looking to create a series based on typical art adjectives (see an earlier blog for more on this). And this arrangement of the same "word" created, for me, a sense of floating unmoving light solidity. Not like a balloon which is shaken by the wind, but like an alien spaceship, with no apparent source of energy keeping it mid-air.

From first ideas

What a to do.....

I'ts amazing... I can spraypaint 6 picture frames, dry a dozen embossed pieces of paper, make a book, mess about online, print papers, and more.... all at the same time... and with space to spare... I love my new studio....

Adjectives to describe work...

As part of my "Works on Paper - The City" I felt it would be useful to use a list of adjectives to give a goal for a variety of individual works. So here's an initial list:

symmetrical, asymmetrical, energetic, balanced, meticulous, imaginative, resourceful, seamless, flowing, frenetic, elegant, bold, humorous, challenging, ambitious, provocative, soothing, peaceful, fun, playful

Or how about...

and then I discovered this list of 5 lettered words with the word "art" in them:

Finding your work in unusual places...

When I went to visit Hotel Porta Fira the other day, I saw some allusions to my own work in the floor tiles. Here's the tiles:
From Toyo Ito Torre
From Toyo Ito Torre
From Toyo Ito Torre

and here's my work, from 2006:
From jonny paintings summer 06 to spring 07
From jonny paintings summer 06 to spring 07
From jonny paintings summer 06 to spring 07


A series of photos of drains and other street ironmongary for my new "Works on Paper - The city" series

Studio 2.0 - a bit tidier!

After a bit of cleaning, and moving junk out, my new studio is taking on shape. I'm looking at my older work and thinking that it's not as good as it should be for my new studio, which is a good feeling, as it means that I'll be pushing myself to create much better work from now on.

Studio 2.0

My new studio, before I moved in.... its very exciting to have a new space to work, especially one with so much space and light.

Open Doors

Tallers Oberts

Organised by Xanu Art and UntitltedBCN, "Tallers Oberts Gracia" was an opportunity to show off my studio and artworks to the general public. Despite the rain on Sunday morning, attendance over the weekend was very good, and it was fun talking to people about my artisitic process. This was even more exciting because I even managed it in Spanish!!

The Press came, and made a little video of the weekend...

No todo lo que ves es el arte

No todo lo que ves es el arte.

En 2009 tuve un día de estudio abierto a mis amigos, donde mostré algunas de mis nuevas obras, y también algunos experimentos, que no fueron, y nunca van a ser, arte. Yo nombré la jornada de puertas abiertas, "No todo lo que ves es" arte, e hize una enorme pantalla con letras creadas a partir de recortes de revista.

Esta frase ha quedado conmigo desde entonces, y ahora tengo un blog ( donde expongo mis reflexiones sobre el arte y no arte, aparte de mis propias obras.

En 2005, para mi 40 cumpleaños, mi hermano me dio un rollo de tela, que he llevado conmigo por todo el mundo, esperando la inspiración correcta.

En la calle donde yo vivo, viejos marcos de serigrafía se dejan a veces como "trastos" durante la noche.

Decidí cubrir uno de estos marcos con el rollo de lona, pero me dí cuenta que podía cubrir casi las dos terceras partes de la estructura, que luego pinté con algunos sobrantes de pintura de color púrpura.

Fue varias semanas después, mientras experimentaba con letras recortadas de cartón y pintura en spray, que me di cuenta que todas estas ideas podrían y deberían unirse para crear una nueva serie de obras.




Por lo tanto, mi agradecimiento a mi hermano, y Lali y Mónica por sus traducciones al catalán y español.

No tot el que veus és art

No tot el que veus és art.

El 2009 vaig tenir un dia d'estudi obert als meus amics, on vaig mostrar algunes de les meves noves obres, i també alguns experiments, que no van ser, i mai seràn, art. Jo vaig anomenar la jornada de portes obertes, "No tot el que veus és" art, i vaig elaborar una enorme pantalla amb lletres creades a partir de retalls d'una revista.

Aquesta frase ha quedat amb mi des de llavors, i ara tinc un blog ( on poso les meves reflexions sobre l'art i no art, a part de les meves pròpies obres.

El 2005, pel meu 40è aniversari, el meu germà em va donar un rotllo de tela, que he portat sempre amb mi, esperant la inspiració correcta.

Al carrer on jo visc, vells marcs de serigrafia es deixen de vegades com a "trastos" durant la nit.

Vaig decidir cobrir un d'aquests marcs amb el rotllo de lona, però em vaig adonar que podia cobrir gairebé dues terceres parts de l'estructura, que després vaig pintar amb alguns sobrants de pintura de color porpra.

Va ser diverses setmanes després, mentre experimentava amb lletres retallades de cartró i pintura en esprai, que em vaig adonar que totes aquestes idees podrien, haurien, i han d'unir-se per crear una nova sèrie d'obres.




Per tant, el meu agraïment al meu germà, i Lali i Mónica I ALEIDA!! ;p per les seves traduccions al català i espanyol.

Not everything you see is art

Not everything you see is art.

In 2009 I had an open studio day for my friends, where I showed some of my new works, and also some experimentation, which was not, and was never going to be, art. I entitlted the open day, "Not everything you see is art", and I created a huge screen with letters created from cut outs of a magazine.

This phrase has stuck with me since then, and now I run a blog ( where I put my musings on art, and non-art, aside from my own works.

And back in 2005, for my 40th birthday, my brother gave me a roll of canvas, which I have carried around the world with me, waiting for the right inspiration.

And on the street where i live, old screen printing frames are sometimes left on "trastos" night.

I decided to cover one of these frames with the canvas roll, but realised that I could put it over to cover just about two-thirds of the frame, which I then painted with some left over purple paint.

It was several weeks later, while experimenting with cardboard cutout letters and spray paint, that I realised that all these ideas could, should, and must come together to create a new series of works.




So, my thanks to my brother, and to Lali and Monica for their translations into Catalan and Spanish.