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Apr 24, 2011

Death and Renewal

The old wise woman who is my younger sister Krys, writes me an Easter message which includes the wish that I let die what is no longer needed in order to make room for the new and transcendent. First of all it's unfair that she hogged so much of the family smarts, but it did get me thinking about the little goofy cartoon that early in my life became a part of my signature. What started as a doodle self-portrait to amuse a friend became central to my statement about who I am– silly still but seriously so, as you shall see.

It's interesting to me that twice I tried to change that character, both times after the terribly painful breakup with a life partner: first my manager and then 10 years later, my beloved wife. In both cases it wrenched me so deeply that I felt I had become a different person and, wanting to move on, I changed the cartoon in a desperate effort to find that new me.  But the character refused those changes.  At first I was upset with myself that I couldn't just get used to a new face and move along. But since I've come to realize that in both cases it turns out I was clinging to the changes these deaths had dealt me instead of the real me underneath. Something indeed had to die, but it was not my real self. I had paid a crushing price in order to really fulfill the person God intended me to be. 

I hear that's not all there is to death. When some painful death happens again I hope that I have the smarts to let go gracefully of what needs to die and hang on to my real self and– for God's sake– to the transcendent.  Happy Easter!
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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.