Meet

Boe Holder

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I grew up in the Lake District (which means that anywhere non-mountainous feels disappointingly flat) and then moved to Malta, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean which sometimes feels as though it has been forgotten by the rest of the world. Once back in England, we moved to Devon and I now live and work in London.
Where did the name for your website This Way To The Circus come from?
I had a 1950s print on my wall when I was little of circus animals lined up next to a sign saying “This Way To The Circus”. The phrase stuck in my head and it perfectly fits what I’m creating - to me it signifies novelty, experimentation, and fun.
Slant
From as early as I can remember I’ve covered notebooks, sketchbooks and napkins with drawings of plants. Someone pointed out to me recently that everything I make looks very childlike (I tried to take that as a compliment) and when I think about it all the colors and patterns and shapes I use look a lot like things I had growing up. — Boe Holder
When you’re not in the studio, how do you like to spend your free time?
Living in London there’s always lots to see and do but however much I love the city I like leaving it even more. I take any chance to get into the countryside, I feel like being amongst plants and trees is medicinal!
Working on miniature objects must be difficult at times. Are you a perfectionist when it comes to painting your mini plants? How do you incorporate mistakes into your work?
I never thought I’d say this, and anyone that knows me will laugh, but I am definitely a perfectionist when it comes to my work. Painting the mini plants can be very tricky and fiddly, I just have to keep going until they look like what I see in my head, which is usually very specific!
You create a variety of objects, do you view them as unique sculptures or as connected to each other as part of a larger series?
I see the mini plants as connected - I make around 20 at a time and work on them all at once, mostly because I like creating a miniature jungle on my desk. I love the way they look together, which is why I make them up into sets. No two are ever the same so deciding which ones go together is often the hardest part.

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