This Website is designed to promote the work of David Holden the artist, whilst challenging you to identify for yourself –

‘What is figurative?’
‘What is Nude?’
‘What is Pornographic?’
‘What is Art?’

It is healthy for my art to keep people’s attention. I am forever trying to forge links between figurative and abstraction and my models are all around me, in the red light districts, sleeping on the underground or living in mud huts on the Maasai plains in Kenya. Some I have met, others are unseen

The paintings are a performance intended to provoke deep thought and moral reflection. My work is designed to trigger a response.

As an artist currently teaching as Head of Art at Brambletye Preparatory school in West Sussex, students of all ages are encouraged to explore the beauty of painting.

I hope that Art students studying G.C.S.E. and A levels, as well as those attending higher education courses in Fine Art can be guided and inspired by this website to use as a vehicle for educational purposes and the questions it poses. Some of the art is supplemented by poetry which I use to help convey the statements of each painting, spontaneously designed to explore the moral, social and political world in which we live.

"A couple of months back I had the privilege to walk around 'Paradise Edict' @royalacademyarts with David Holden, a very special man.

He was my Art teacher between the ages of 9 and 12 and he took the time and interest in what I was doing and encouraged me to always push what I thought I was capable of - to never limit my creativity.

Many many weekends were spent at his house in Nairobi painting- experimenting and learning. So much I owe to this man. Thank you Dave!"

Michael Armitage.
Thomas Westray, Brambletye Art Scholar 2003, is awarded a degree in Fine Art at Central St.Martin's School of Art and Design, 2012

Tom has dedicated the last ten years of his life to his Art and to see his degree show was a real privilege for me.His work represents creativity at the highest level, risky and sometimes controversial but his honest approach will allow Tom to sleep well at night knowing that his conscience is content.

David Holden - Mentor and tutor

“I don’t know of any other art teacher that has so much conviction in his pupils’ inherent abilities to make art. The belief that he gave me allowed me to develop confidence within my own work and myself, thus providing the foundations for my future development as an artist.

His lessons nurture a wide range of skills, in all mediums and create a huge appetite for creativity, so much so that I always wanted to stay on for longer!

I knew Dave when he lived and worked in his studio in a bungalow in the heart of Nairobi, Kenya. I remember stepping through his ever-open door and being accosted by the wild flurry of chickens goats and three dogs, a menagerie of clucking, chewing and barking followed by a didgeridoo oasis infusion floating from his living room where we painted together.

Motion filled memories of a man never static, a man in a constant state of motion, always moving, always doing something for others. It is this vibrancy, this combination of vivid chaos and infectious energy that cannot help but manifest in his work, both as a tutor and an artist.

His bold colours, his crude raw rejection of the status quo and the wild energy of his painterly language confronts you with reality in all its grotesquely flawed beauty. This is Dave, straight forward, honest and captivating”
by Michael Armitage  Royal Academy 2007- 2010


Kenyan Artist receives M.A at The Royal Academy. Former Art student of David Holden, Michael Armitage, was awarded a Masters degree in Fine Art at The Royal Academy this summer.

Tel: 07906 561746