Friday Inspiration… Lonnie Holley

Wire portrait inspired by Lonnie Holley

As a Creator, I see inspiration everywhere. It is not just art that inspires. At times, it is sound: the voice of a stranger on a train; a conversation overheard; the rhythm of a knife on the chopping board and there is a certain something in the dawn chorus that awakens an often inexplicable emotion in the hearts of almost all of us.

I do not always act on the creative impulses that bubble up inside of me when faced with something in nature or in the work of another that lights my creative fire. But that information is often stored; catalogued somewhere in my mind. At a later date, who knows what causes me to respond. This evening, sat on the sofa, I felt compelled to bend wire. The desire to do so led back some 11+ years to an exhibition of sculpture, painting and assemblage by the African-American self-taught artist Lonnie Holley whose home was Birmingham Alabama and who was present for the first exhibition of his work outside of America, taking place at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, UK. His work was artistic alchemy; one man’s rubbish into another man’s art. The result of my twisting this afternoon can be seen above; a small homage to a man whose art I admire.

It is common, as I am almost certain I have stated here before, for art and music to collide or sit side by side. Many artists are also musicians and musicians also artists. Lonnie is one of them. I do not know which came first… I believe it was the art, though it would not surprise me at all if music was in his bones from the start. The seventh of 27 children, Lonnie has the power to transport the viewer; the listener; the witness to all that he does. Like all those who create something of power, there will likely be a divide in the response to his output. Lonnie is Marmite and I am a lover.

If you are thinking about sharing your own creative output with the world, remember…
Never seek to please everyone.
Create for yourself.
Make something that speaks to you; it will move someone else.

If you have something to share with the world, please put a link in the comments below.
Take the leap now and share your music/art/words/output.

And if you want to witness Lonnie in action, you can see him at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where he will be performing next month. I’ve got my ticket already. See you there! x



    • Julia Elmore says

      Thank you Richard. The wire sculpture was simple and fun to do. A little bit of re-bending as you go along due to one bit twisting out of shape as you twist another part into shape, but perhaps that is due to the quality of wire of was using. I used a very thin wire this time and will probably experiment with something stronger and more likely to hold its shape next time around.

      Your cartoons always make me smile. Thank you for sharing.

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