About Rebecca Holden


My paintings, often large and gestural, employ visual narratives to explore the multiple guises of humanity

Rebecca Holden is an artist based in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2013 she completed her MFA at Massey University in Wellington. Rebecca has exhibited widely nationally both with solo and group shows as well as having exhibited internationally. In addition to her practice she teaches part-time at Massey University School of Art in the fields of drawing and painting.

Rebecca also has a penchant for travel which is never fully satisfied (based on recent research this wanderlust is caused by a specific gene).

About my work

My paintings, often large and gestural, employ visual narratives to explore the multiple guises of humanity. The good and the bad conditions of humankind act as agency to my practice. I utilise figuration and colour in the portrayal of emotion and gesture. Representations of animals, a regular feature in my works, are interwoven into the composite arrangement of my paintings. The animals are often metaphors for different aspects of humanity. The perspective of distance, be it geographical or historical, also informs my work.

In my paintings I utilise different levels of finish from sketched forms to layered, more highly rendered areas to give different levels of interest to areas of the work. Mistakes and corrections are left partially visible marking the progress of the works journey.

The work is not fully planned before the act of painting takes place as it’s important for me to be open to chance happenings during the process of making. I enjoy the impromptu (and sometimes invited) participation of others in the formation of the work. These encounters challenge me to work in ways I might not immediately expect of myself.

My paintings are project led which often determines the size and number of the works. Depending on the project, I most often work on paper as it can be adapted to the space it is hung in. This ability to manipulate the support enables the opportunity for unexpected relationships to occur between different aspects of my artwork and the space it populates.

– Rebecca Holden


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