Keith Ashcroft | The Open College of the Arts
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Keith Ashcroft

I graduated from Manchester School of Art in 2000 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. After graduating I was awarded the Drawlab Bursary for practicing artists at St Helens College. This opportunity played a vital role in kick-starting my career as an artist and allowed me the time and freedom to establish a practice after leaving Art School. In 2010 I committed to a being full-time painter, to really hone and nurture a practice and gain valuable experience and knowledge in the medium and its discourse.

I am interested in the possibilities presented to me by a medium-specific painting practice. My process is an investigative response to subject matter via imagery, memory and observation. My intention is to open up a dialogue between me, the painting and its subject matter in order to gain access to, and reveal, something ‘other’. Through laying paint down on a surface, this dialogue is played out in the picture plane and through the processes of pictorial orchestration and application, to reconfigure space and investigate its possibilities.

My current body of work deals with the painterly process of representing the familiar and unfamiliar world of internal spaces. By facilitating the figurative and pictorial needs of a painting I endeavour to remain responsive to the passages of abstraction that permeate and punctuate areas of figuration. These painted spaces are negotiated, furnished with ‘things’ rather than people and prompt scenes of human interaction devoid of a definitive human form. I am intrigued by the relationships we have with our surroundings, the function of things that inhabit and furnish them and the implications of a functional object bereft of its human counterpart. What are the conventions that bind us to our perception of place, bring questions of time to the fore and give narrative to our notions of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ spaces?

Over the last 10 years I have developed and strengthened my practice. I am delighted that my work has been selected for a number of significant exhibitions across the country. Recent exhibitions include the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2018, at Huddersfield Art Gallery and Menier Gallery, London, when I was awarded a Special Commendation for my painting ‘Inside Out’ by art critic, artist and broadcaster Matthew Collings; The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2018 at the Mall Galleries, London; and The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2018, Mall Galleries, London. I was also long-listed for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2018.

I am also the Founder and Manager of OA Studios and gallery space ‘Oceans Apart’ in Salford. My role at the studio and gallery is varied and eclectic, it includes such things as corresponding with Artists and exhibitors, engaging with the public and gallery visitors, mentoring students and studio holders, and maintaining a productive and friendly studio environment for our members.

www.keithashcroft.com

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