Page 10, 19th February 1965

19th February 1965
Page 10
Page 10, 19th February 1965 — "VIVID HOLT, the artist, ironing materials on to a section

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Locations: Albuquerque, Canterbury


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"VIVID HOLT, the artist, ironing materials on to a section

" of a giant reredos he has nearly completed for the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption at Albuquerque, New Mexico. The completed section in the background depicts the Last Supper. There will be 117 sections, each measuring 4 ft. by 3 ft., to form the 40 ft. square tapestry to cover the entire wall of the Sanctuary. A major section of the work is to be on show in Folkestone from February 26, at the New Metropole Arts Centre.

The technique Mr. Holt is using in his workshop at the Old Vicarage, Hythe, Kent, is called textile appliqué. Thousands of pieces of shaped textiles are sewn on to a heavy linen background. Materials for the reredos include 22 carat gold and silver leaf on kid leather, printed fabrics and brocades, and nylon and terylene net. Fifty miles of cotton are being used. After the pieces are sewn to the background, details of drawing are added with thick wool. Finer details are "drawn" direct with a sewing machine, so that the artist works directly with cloth as a painter with paint.

Mr. Holt has been working on the technique for 10 years with Gerald Ho/tom in his workshop in Hillside Street, Hythe. Mr. Holton' obtained the first commission in 1949, from the architects of the Ministry of Education-a proscenium curtain for a school. Now about 70 works in this technique hang in schools, churches, theatres, town halls, private houses and public buildings. Examples by David Holt are a Christ in Glory in Christ Church College Chapel. Canterbury, and an altar frontal in Sandgate parish church, Kent.

Work on the Albuquerque reredos began in October, 1962, and it will be completed in A pril. Each panel will be stretched on a wooden frame which will be set into a large grille behind the altar, concealing the organ pipes. The theme is the Eucharist. Fr. Carl Hammer, priest in charge of the Albuquerque church, said when he commissioned the work: "The Eucharist is the centre of our Catholic life. I would like to he able to teach this fact from your pictures."

In the centre is a large open-work Cross in gold and silver, the arms spread across the reredos, conveying the theme of Sacrifice throughout the design. All panels are related to this from the Fall, furthest in position from the centre, Abraham and Isaac, the Passover, types of Christ's Sacrifice, and the Last Supper. Close to the Cross are the Virgin Mary and Joseph, and beyond, through Calvary, the Entombment and Resurrection of Christ, Pentecost, and the work of Redemption continuing.

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