SD Holman

Photos 1 & 2 Jon Vincent/VANDOCUMENT, 2-16 SD Holman, 17 Paul Wong

Still Life (Nature Morte)

Mixed media duratrans

Storage lockers are where we put those objects that the world tells us to get rid of, but that we cannot bear to part with. They are where we lock away the secret parts of our lives,underground, in tiny dark rooms, visited seldom or frequently but almost always alone.

Things we can not part with…

I am photographing absence – a work in progress.
I feel inarticulate with the death of my beloved wife Catherine who drowned in a plane crash. I started to photograph her things. What began as a way of recording ‘stuff’ that I knew someday I would have to let go, has become a meditation on loss and the life imbued in everyday objects, the belongings of the dead. Things, they are just things right? But they become something else when the person is dead; fetish objects imbued with the divine. When I photograph them I can feel her, both present and absent. They are in fact part of her or rather she part of them. Her DNA is there, tiny particles of Catherine in those clothes. Is it transubstantiation (Catherine would get a kick out of that), has she become these things, all I have left except for fallible memory?

Small icon boxes, at once lonely and glorifying, empty and full. With them, I try to reach out to her, though the water through time in messages through the only means I know, art.

Curator: Paul Wong


SD Holman, A native of Los Angeles, is a photo-based artist and Artistic Director of The Queer Arts Festival, a multidisciplinary arts festival in Vancouver, Canada. Recipient of the 2014 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Arts and Culture, one of Canada’s most prestigious awards. SD Holman defines as a non-commercial artist, a participant observer employing subjective conceptual documentary practice and has exhibited internationally at venues including the Advocate Gallery (Los Angeles), the Soady-Campbell Gallery (New York), the San Francisco Public Library, The Helen Pitt International Gallery, Charles H. Scott, Exposure, Gallery Gachet, the Roundhouse, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Artropolis, and Fotobase Galleries (Vancouver). Holman’s project BUTCH: Not like the other girls is currently touring North America and has been published by Shooting Gallery Publications. Other work appears in the books Culture and Education, Wadham, Pudsey & Boyd, (Pearson Education Australia: 2007; 2nd ed. 2009); Femme/Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want to Go, Gibson & Meem (Routledge: 2002); Fusion (Link publications: 2002); The Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography, Jakubowski & Jaye Lewis (Robinson Publishing: 2001)

Holman curated artists Rachel Iwaasa & Lisa Cay Miller