|Born on 9th February 1948|
Patrick Holo grew up in Cape Town completing his standard nine at Langabuya High School in 1969.
His father, Jo Holo was a pianist and one of the 'Folk Quartet' consisting of Jo Holo, Jo Max, Schonana and Jo Qungu. Patrick couldn't play, but his brother Sydney was a member, of a skiffle band in 1974. Patrick recalls that many an evening he joined the family at the supper table where they would sing Kwela songs. The jazz and pennywhistle musicians loved his father's house.
As a child he remembers making toys with wire - cars with polish-tin wheels and tires made from old bicycle wheel tubes. The cars had axles and could be steered with a long hand-held wire. He constructed busses and trains from wire and tinfoil.BACKGROUND
Patrick was awarded a scholarship by the Italian Consulate to study in Perugia for a year. He particularly remembers visiting the grave of St. Francis in Assisi, Bologna, Florence (loved the 'blue water in Florence') and Venice (What a lovely place!). From Perugia he travelled to Rome where he stayed in the home of Nicolo Baldo.
1975 - 76
Joined the Community Arts Project in Woodstock. Patrick's work of this period conveyed the political sentiments of the struggle against the apartheid policies of the ruling party. Other 'Resistance Artists' working at CAP at the time were Bongani Shangi and Hamilton Budaza. They shared resources exploring the sculpture and graphics techniques. Patrick remembers with pride the sculpture he did at this time.
Became a full time artist.
Worked as a machine operator for Paarl Textiles.
1971 - 72
Worked at the Paarl Branch of OK Bazaars.
NYANGA ART CENTRE
The report of the Theron commission on coloured people was tabled. Secondary school children march into Soweto in a massive protest against the use of Afrikaans in schools, and hundreds are killed in violence. Schools unrest spreads to the Western Cape. First members of 'The Class of '76' leave South Africa for training in armed resistance.
In this year Patrick met Cecil Skotnes.
Cecil Skotnes had directed the Polly Street Art Centre the 1950's and 1960's. Situated in downtown Johannesburg, Polly Street Art Centre provided guidance, basic materials, equipment and a place to work. Sculptor Sydney Kumalo's sell-out exhibition at the centre proved that gifted black artists could make a living from art.
Encouraged by Cecil Skotnes, Patrick and Sydney Holo approached the Divisional Council requesting the use of an old farmhouse in Nyanga to give art classes to children. Permission was granted and this became the Nyanga Art Centre. Patrick taught graphics and sculpture. Cecil Skotnes visited and mentored the project although it became increasingly unsafe to visit Nyanga. Cecil stressed a professional approach, which became a hallmark of the artists trained at this centre. Billy Mandindi was one.
1982 - 83
Despite generous bequests the centre was perennially short of funds. In 1989 Patrick mentions that Mteto Msongwana was chairman of the art centre and Mr. R.A. Wilson was the accountant. Patrick was working with his brother Sydney and Velile Soha. Deneth Giladile was teaching music to the children. It was not long before Patrick was working alone.
By 1990 everyone had left the Nyanga Art Centre. The centre was destroyed by vandalism and Patrick was left with no place to work.