We put local artist Jessica Holmes in the spotlight. Her exhibition Hothouse Opera is on now and well worth a visit. It’s an investigation of The Grange at Northington, Hampshire, where plants were transplanted to the hot house from their natural habitat by the botanist-adventurers of the 18th and 19th century. It’s utterly mesmerising.
When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to make art ever since I can remember and I’ve just kept on making it.
What is your biggest challenge professionally?
Overcoming a fraud complex regarding my value professionally. I’m quite backward in coming forward which isn’t so useful when you’re an artist – you have to bite the bullet.
Is there a piece of art that has stayed with you?
Anselm Kiefer’s Painting Osiris and Isis. For me it blurs the boundary of physicality and imagery so profoundly that it is magical.
How did you come to settle in this neighbourhood?
We had friends who moved here and we fell in love with the area when we came to visit them. Our eldest child had just started walking and Queens Park was the perfect place for him to practice!
What does a typical weekend look like for you?
Hopefully there will be a good long dog walk on Hampstead Heath or Fryent Country park. My husband and I love to cook so we will have some friends and family over. There may be gallery visit. Everyone else in my house are Fulham FC supporters so I may get some peace if they go off to a game!
Do you exercise?
I love to go to reformer Pilates classes at Absolute Studios Kensal Rise. I’ve been going since it opened last year and I feel so much better for it.
Favourite local haunt?
I love Wilder Gallery on College road which shows some really exciting art. I’m keen on Bel and Nevs cafe and The Parlour.
What brings you joy?
Painting, but also water gardening – I’m obsessed with all things to do with ponds, aquariums and fish.
What makes you cross?
Remote controls. They. Do. Not. Make. Sense.
Cocktail or glass of wine?
Cocktail – a French 75 please.
Dream date night?
An exciting restaurant somewhere in town I’ve not been before – especially if it’s Sichuanese.
Dream fantasy date?
Chuck Bryant from the Stuff You Should Know podcast. He’s so funny, I have a lot of questions about everything and he seems to have a lot of answers. He’s also really into food – can’t be doing with fussy eaters on a date. Maybe his wife would let me borrow him?
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
Where do you hope to be in 10 years time?
Hopefully still making art, healthy and happy.