Creswell Crags’ Artist in Residence, John Holt, has been busy in his Pennine Studio In Holmfirth creating ceramics sculptures inspired by ancient symbolism including the cave art at Creswell together with his characteristic interest in “flow and fluidity” as an indicator of the natural tide of nature and humankind’s relationship with the natural world.

Two handmade bowls in the 'flow art' style of John Holt. One is in tones of green, the other in tones of blue. Both have symbols of animals inspired in Ice Age Rock Art at Creswell Crags

Two of John Holt’s latest art works – flow art bowls inspired by the Creswell Crags Ice Age rock art

This initial series is amongst his smaller works that will be for sale soon via our online shop. John is incorporating the evocative cave art at Creswell including the early modern ‘Witch Marks’ found in Robin Hood Cave and the Ice Age rock art found in Church Hole Cave.

A ceramic beaker in brown tones with a 'Witch Mark' symbol in the base, made by John Holt

A beaker inspired by the Witch Marks in Robin Hood Cave

The outline of a bird's head, with a long beak, carved into limestone rock

Rock Art Ibis in Church Hole Cave at Creswell Crags, over 12,000 years old

“It feels as I am liberating the symbols from those caves in some way. Revisioning ancient symbols is a fascinating process and integrating them into my Flow Art is particularly exciting as I am drawing upon ancient Celtic, Prehistoric and Medieval symbols and bringing them to light in my ceramic sculptures. The peoples of the ancient world made symbols to equate to a “world beyond” or as a “symbol of protection” and although we may only guess their specific meanings they remain powerful spiritual symbols of a reality beyond the earthy plane”. John Holt. 11/11/2020

A stone wall inside a cave covered in inscribed symbols

Witch Marks in Robin Hood Cave


Ceramic beakers, viewed from the side, in the 'flow art' style of John Holt. They are in natural, earthy colours and show symbols inspired by Creswell Crags

Beakers by John Holt, inspired by the symbolism of Creswell Crags