Holyoak was born in Michigan, grew up in British Columbia, and finally settled in Montreal where he continues to produce his fascinating drawing-installations and art books. With a BFA from the University of Victoria, he continued his artistic studies as an apprentice of a master ink printer, Shen Ling Xiang, in Yangshuo, China. In 2011, Holyoak received his MFA from Montreal's Concordia University.
He draws from a plethora of stimuli and experience, exploring culture and humanity, nature, animals, and the human psyche. Using graphite, India ink and watercolour, Holyoak creates a dense, mysterious landscape inhabited by mythical and imaginary beings, strange life forms that tell a tale of eternal wandering.
This peripatetic semi-autobiographical odyssey weaves through the wilds of China, Canada and Northern Europe; an existential meditation on one's place in time.
Entirely hand-drawn and 500 pages long, Holyoak's Book of Nineteen Nocturnes, 2002-2016 is divided into 19 leaflets and displayed on long tables to be perused, white cotton gloves provided. An instant intimate dialogue begins with the opening of the first page, as the viewer-reader embarks on a most intriguing visual journey.
Book of Nineteen Nocturnes
OPTICA, centre d'art contemporain
5445 avenue de Gaspé
From 28 January 2017 to 25 March 2017
Jim Holyoak, Book of Nineteen Nocturnes , 2002-2016
Hand-drawn novel, 500 pages long, divided into 19 accordion books, India ink, graphite, watercolor, ink-jet prints, and collated text on paper, 30.48 x 43.18 x 30.48 cm.