Local art prodigy Houghmordeen Jansen, fondly known as Holmes, grew up in an informal settlement in Sedgefield. The second of four children, he was raised by his mother and grandmother, both of whom instilled within Holmes a strong sense of faith and unwavering courage.
Dynamic and extremely confident by nature, Holmes began sketching at an early age and was recognised throughout his school career for his innate artistic talent. On one fortuitous day, when he was a young teenager, he was walking to the beach when he noticed that Sue Watson's Gallery was holding an exhibition, and he made a beeline into her studio. This chance meeting with Sue was set to positively change the course of his life after she agreed to supply him with the art materials he so desperately needed and to give him art lessons, thus guiding him in on his artistic journey.
After he completed his matric, he did not immediately have the means to continue with his studies, but through sheer tenacity and belief in himself he later went on to enrol in the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to study Graphic Design. “I felt I had developed enough technique and my own sense of style, which is why I chose not to study fine art, but rather to acquire new skills, which is why I chose the field of Graphic Design. After successfully completing two years, Holmes decided to take a gap year, during which time he immersed himself in his art and built up a impressive body of work. His work has been accepted and exhibited at The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Port Elizabeth, Knext Art Gallery, The AVA Gallery, Art It Is Gallery, Art Mode in Cape Town, The Gavin Project in Johannesburg and Art10K.
Holmes is a multi-faceted creative person who has produced multiple uniquely styled works and has become a professional artist well-versed in mural painting, fine art and design. Some of his clients and collaborators include the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Edgars, Rhumaa (a socially responsible storytelling fashion brand ), product designer Heath Nash and Afrikaans recording artist Jitsvinger.
He has big plans for this year. Not only will he be working hard to complete his diploma but he is also busy producing an exciting body of work which he plans to exhibit here in Sedgefield at the end of the year. The venue for the exhibition is yet to be finalised.
Although he is currently living and studying in Cape Town, he is still very much rooted to his birth place of Sedgefield. Much of his work is inspired by his own community, and he manages to brilliantly capture the essence of township life and the many facets it holds; the community spirit, the struggles and the vibrancy of the streets.
It is clearly evident that not only did this talented young local beat the early odds stacked against him, but he has risen far above them and is already making an indelible mark on the exciting world of art. Watch this space!!