His world turned black.
The dreamer woke.
The trace of a happy memory had remained.
The haze persisted.
“My aim with my art is to show that a certain type of beauty, even if it lasts for only a moment, can be found in the darkest of places.”
- BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing Final Year student
- Founder of Understanding the Pieces of Ourselves poetry anthology
- Self-taught watercolour artist – 'Industrialised' accepted into the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition 2022
In conversation with Ieuan Holt
What was it like viewing it in the exhibition at Burlington House?
Were you painting in any other capacity before this?
The last time I had put a brush to paper was when I was in Year 6.
What inspired you to pick up a brush again?
Why do you choose to work with watercolours?
Have you experimented with using other tools or mediums?
So when painting en plein air your paintings are influenced by your imagination?
There must be a part of my subconscious that is drawn to painting such scenes as a means of expressing and channelling my emotions into something that is a healthy outlet.
When and why did you decide to share your art?
How have you responded to other people's responses to your work?
Seeing how the landscape changes depending on who is viewing it, each person creating an individual scene that is wholly unique and entirely their own, is a true joy.
Beneath the surface
Through painting I hope to show even when you find yourself in a mentally dark place, there is still beauty that can be found and created.
Has your audience shared any responses after viewing your paintings?
One common takeaway is that my paintings are almost like short stories and their endings.
Fluid layers of paint creates drama which is gothic or pagan at times, or touching upon fantasy at others. Do you draw out a certain beauty from darkness by mixing our reality with others?
I hope to show it is okay to express feelings that might be considered dark in regards to mental health.
What’s next on the horizon?
Similar to painting, your pursuit of creative writing is also relatively new after leaving the Merchant Navy in 2020 to pursue becoming a horror writer. When did creative writing become a passion?
What made you decide to study English and creative writing at Plymouth?
It will follow me down,
casting shadows that splatter
against the submerged sides of my concrete construction,
never learnt to survive.
Loam for the indifferences
that taught me to man up
And never cry.
Pieces of ourselves
Your poem ‘Leviathan’ speaks about experiencing negative effects of regressive masculine values.
How can the creative arts help with 'opening up'?
Creative writing and painting are positive mediums to express my emotions. Poetry in particular helps process my experiences with masculinity and mental health.
How can people get involved with Understanding the Pieces of Ourselves?
Do you have a dream job in mind after you graduate from Plymouth that combines your creative passions?
Many thanks Ieuan and good luck with your painting and writing pursuits.
Memories edged in static remembrance begin their scene,
swirling in the purple of blues
around a boy
the past can never allow you to forget.
Images from top to bottom, left to right
1. Life from the Loam
2. Ieuan Holt standing in front of Industrialised at the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition 2022
6. From Ashes
7. Devonshire Shore
8. Amongst Flowering Fen
10. Heaven's Roil
11. Dawn of Destruction
12. Gehenna Rising
13. Molten Trudge
14. Through the Looking-glass Part II
15. Drowned Medow
16. An extract of Leviathan
17. Moor's end
Find your voice
Studying English and creative writing at Plymouth offers you the opportunity to choose a range of courses which feed your interest in literature, sharpen your critical and analytical skills, and study and practise creative writing.
We encourage you to interpret not only the texts you'll read but also the world around you in more subtle and penetrating ways.
The teaching staff are published writers and poets in their own right and support future aspiring and emerging writers through their teaching, publishing initiatives such as Periplum Poetry.