Jim Holyoak is a Montréal-based drawer and writer (born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, raised in Aldergrove, British Columbia.) His discipline is comprised of book-works and room-sized installations, focusing on the ecologies linking the imaginary with the real, geologic time with our present myopia, and linking the human with the non-human lives of animals and environments. In parallel to his solo practice, Holyoak has orchestrated numerous collaborative drawing projects, often with fellow artist Matt Shane, and sometimes involving hundreds of people drawing together. Holyoak received a BFA from the University of Victoria, an MFA from Concordia University, and studied as an apprentice to master ink-painter Shen Ling Xiang, in Yangshuo, China. He has attended artist-residencies in New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Banff, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and throughout Norway. His work has circulated widely in Europe and North America, including bG Gallery in Santa Monica, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the GEM Museum of Contemporary Art in The Hague, Tegnerforbundet (Drawing Association) in Oslo, and the DRAW:2014 International Drawing Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Holyoak’s work was recently featured in Border Crossings Magazine; (issue34 no.1) an issue dedicated to Monsters. The original, hand-drawn, hand-assembled version of his first novel, Book of Nineteen Nocturnes, is currently on view at the OPTICA Centre for Contemporary Art (until March 25th.) It is about a wandering, nocturnal monster, named Book.
Jim est rêveur. Le jour et la nuit, éveillé ou endormi. Il doute que les humains et les animaux soient aussi différents que la plupart des gens le croient. Il n’a pas le meilleur sens de l’orientation, mais il suit tout de même ses intuitions. Même lorsqu’il planifie à l’avance où il ira, il finit par prendre un chemin inattendu. Il aime se faire surprendre par un paysage qu’il n’a jamais vu auparavant, par la rencontre d’une personne dont il ignorait l’existence. Il sait toujours en garder de bons souvenirs. Même si on sait qu’il n’est jamais très loin, il y a des jours où il est normal de se demander où il peut bien se trouver.
– Anne-Marie Proulx, artiste/commissaire
Jim Holyoak is an Earthling, from the Kingdom Mammalia, and of the species homo sapiens. During the time he is not awake, he is dreaming. Although he is generally terrestrial, Holyoak often dreams of being a marine mammal. He also dreams of being a flying fox, although cultural restraints usually require him to follow a diurnal sleep-cycle. When granted the opportunity, Holyoak has the tendency of staying up all night drinking nectar. Mainly, he requires oxygen, water, and vegetables to continue his activities.
*‘Nowhereworlds: The Othered Ecologies of Jim Holyoak,’by Tracy Valcourt for Border Crossings magazine )(issue 113: We Are Monsters): BorderCrossings_TracyValcourt_Nowhereworlds2015p.88-95
*An audio interview with Matt Shane and I about our collaborative practice, conducted by author, Yaniya Lee, for Art Talks MTLl: https://arttalksmtl.podbean.com/e/episode-12-matt-shane-and-jim-holyoak/?token=6a5a71e8c71c2fe22ab6d5d8bed4d72a