Saturday, 5 May 2018

Festival 15 - Robin Holtom

This show is a game changer for the Forum.
Robin Holtom

After gaining a Diploma in Art & Design at Chelsea School of Art in 1966, Robin Holtom went to The Royal College of Art and gained an MA in Film and Television. His painting teachers included Patrick Caulfield, John Hoyland and Ken Kiff.  Robin then worked for ten years as an Art Therapist in London and was a Council Member of the British Association of Art Therapists. Whilst there, Robin edited their journal called 'Inscape' for two years. In 1980 Robin moved to Wales and concentrated on painting and sculpture while running residential courses in Wales, Italy and Spain. In 1999 he was elected Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. In 2000 he moved to Hastings where he founded the SoCo Arts Group and was a trustee of the Hastings Arts Forum for three years.

Robin is presently a Board Member of Hastings Creative Ltd, a non profit company whose purpose is to transform a convent in St. Leonard's-on-sea into a School for the Arts.

One of the three curators  of the Festival 15 show (with Charlotte Snook and Matthew Burrows), Robin Holtom gives us a quick precis of his involvement with HAF and how the Festival 15 show came together.  

I have been involved with the Arts Forum as a member and trustee for nearly 15 years before which I was chair of SoCo. This show is a game changer for the Forum. Matthew and Charlotte were rigorous in their selection and hanging and it was an eye opener for me how such different artists could be shown together in such a way that they all look their best. The less is more mantra that is often spoken at Forum shows but not so often practised, has been demonstrated with conviction by this show. Also the fact that so many distinguished artists are willing to show here testifies to the regard the organisation is held in. A voluntary organisation that has been going for 15 years without any government arts funding is almost unique and is a model other towns envy. It depends of course on the generosity of volunteers some of whom devote hundreds of hours a year to the project. I think there is an opportunity to build on this show with more carefully curated shows.

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