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Ekua Holmes

Biography

Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes is a painter and collage artist who uses news clippings, photographs, vibrant color and skillful composition to infuse her work with energy. Her layered, abstract creations convey a sense of unity and evoke memories that are both personal and universal.
 
In her ongoing series of collages she revisits the joys and challenges of childhood through adult eyes. These works reexamine the foundational relationships, games and rules that we learn at an early age and apply throughout our lives.
 
I work primarily in collage using a process of searching for and rescuing what has been lost, forgotten or discarded. Using these found textures, photographs, and ephemera, I reconstruct new images, which resonate with a larger message, beyond the particularities of place, to reveal relationships between the local and the universal. Although much of my work is set in an urban environment, these portraits of beloved Aunties, sacred gardens and children at play, sing with lyrics as old as mankind. My goal is that the exploration of the very personal vision enriches and completes a wide social context, while playing with the tension between the very flat medium of collage and an articulated sense of depth. 
 
During my childhood, I was nurtured by a loving and supportive community of men and women who played important roles in my life. In everything I create, I hear them saying, “Remember Me.”  Through my work, I honor their legacies by bringing them forward to life with torn and cut shapes of color and texture. With these scraps and remnants, assembled like a “down-home” quilt, I rebuild my world, putting in only what speaks to my personal and cultural narrative.

Ekua Holmes

Books by Ekua Holmes

written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes - Children's 10-12

Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. Integral to the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that, despite President Johnson’s interference, aired on national TV news and spurred the nation to support the Freedom Democrats. Featuring vibrant mixed-media art full of intricate detail, Voice of Freedom celebrates Fannie Lou Hamer’s life and legacy with a message of hope, determination and strength.