Spotlight: Sam Holt

Spotlight: Sam Holt

Holly Terry

The three things I took from my time spent chatting with Sydney based fine artist, Sam Holt, was that he loves cheese; he has a “really weird laugh”; and he carries table tennis bats everywhere he goes. Understanding that there is a real potential to be challenged to a game of table tennis at any given time.

Having grown up in Redfern, Sydney, Sam asserts early that in ‘high school [he] was always arty and good’. Well, that much was certainly obvious, and I am certainly aware of this prior to our chat, having spent hours divulging through the image on both his Instagram and his website.

Impressively, Sam had the pleasure of being asked to exhibit immediately (and I mean immediately) following the completion of his high school years. As I consider my life, four years out of high school and a proud owner of a partially completed Bachelors degree, speaking to Sam makes me feel somewhat of a teenage fan girl. Telling myself I will make it big one day, surely, just surely I am destined for something great. And with that thought, I removed myself from my current situation and continue to purchase a quick pick OzLotto ticket with final $14.65 in my bank account.

Having then moved on to the completion of an advertising degree, Sam too realised he was destined for more. Not so much in OzLotto terms, more in the sense of undertaking a fine arts degree at university. This transition clearly suits Sam’s artistic style well, and I, a passionate art fanatic, am certainly thankful he chose this path.

As a self proclaimed and perpetual and obvious ‘passionate’ being, Sam confidently refers to his art practice as, “something you don’t really choose, its more that you have to keep [practicing].” He freely discusses the way in which he believes art is truly about putting yourself out there, with incredible passion, such passion that anyone would be envious about, and does not cease to remain present within his artwork. Sam’s works mirror his clear zest for life, depicting colourful, eye catching and meaningful portrayals of the fortune we, as Australians have, just by living on this land. Discussing his own art practice with emotion and enthusiasm, it is clear Sam truly believes the messages that he portrays through his work. When asked to explain the deeper meanings behind his work, he responds with a refreshingly humble, and down to earth statement, “We are all super fortunate, and I realise that”. Such a statement is rare to hear from anybody at all, let alone someone who receives praise for his work on a day-to-day basis.

To further give you a sense of just exactly who Sam Holt is, he explained to me that his first solo show, 'Present Future, which was exhibited earlier this year at Sydney’s Artereal Gallery. The works in Present Future breathtakingly embody a free and fast paced emotion, perfectly achieving the reflection of living the future now. Sam explains that the Present Future “is about living on a happy hour budget”, and features works with refreshingly simple names including “cheese, pickles and a cold beer”. After having spoken with Sam for over an hour, and beginning to gather exactly what this artist is all about, this name does not surprise me in the slightest. Although it is a known fact that brilliant art pieces tend to have names one cannot articulate, ‘Zygotic acceleration, biogenetic, de-sublimated libidinal model (enlarged x 1000’) (Chapman Brothers, 1995) just to name one. However, Sam Holt’s works are certainly no less significant.

To come, you will find Sam’s work in his upcoming show at Artereal, Sydney, which Sam discloses that although it will certainly feature his iconic paintings, “it will be a bit more of a mix up”.


Holly Terry is a young lass from the 'burbs who enjoys painting and eating. You'll find her painting anything with an inch of available space, including her pet dog. When she is not cooped up at her job and favourite hobby, Davey Jones, she spends her days studying International Relations. She hopes to take on the world in future years and rewrite the entire series of Star Wars.