KEITH ASHCROFT BIOGRAPHY
Keith Ashcroft was born in 1977 in St Helens, Merseyside. He studied Fine Art at Manchester School of Art and graduated in 2000 with a BA (Hons). Keith has exhibited in various group shows over the years. He now resides and works from his studio in ‘sunny Salford,’ Greater Manchester.
Since 2010 Keith has dedicated his practice to the disciplines and demands of oil painting, exploring the possibilities that paint offers him as a medium and a means to pursue ideas through pictorial representation. His approach to painting requires a pragmatic approach, relying heavily on the physical act of painting and the relentless pursuit of a daily routine through immersive studio time.
FOUND PHOTOGRAPHS AS A STARTING POINT
Keith Ashcroft works mainly from found photographs, using them as a starting point and a source to explore their pictorial potential, responding through intuition and instinct, provoking feeling and conveying meaning through visual representation. His paintings are littered with domesticated scenes and interiors, furnished with the seemingly banal and everyday objects of the past, present and future.
“I am Concerned with both the urgency and patience that painting demands, offers and requires, I am above all a ‘Visual Artist’ concerned with the visual world and am interested in communicating ideas through the language of visual representation. First with its eyes and then with its meaning. I will commit to memory the confessions of colour and its relentless smells of memory perverting the textures of time with its notions of domesticated bliss. My intention is to use the physical act of painting as a means to expose the invisible and reveal its dirty little secrets.”
THE GAZE OF AN EMERGING REALITY
The gaze of an emerging reality is made the material in the paintings of Keith Ashcroft. Paintings in which the chasm between feeling and construction is both intuitively and thoughtfully bridged by passages of abstraction that permeate and punctuate areas of figuration.
A sense of emergence and formation, rather than prescriptive illustrative illusion, engages the eye and mind, prompting the viewer to ponder scenes of domestic human interaction and the actual processes of pictorial orchestration and application. Keith Ashcroft paintings transcend a sense of respectful lineage by its melding idiosyncrasy, with an abundant understanding and respect for tropes and traditions in western Modern and contemporary painting, whilst never feeling like an appropriated pastiche of a tired fashion lead notion of what this area of painting should look like.
There is much to contemplate and appreciate in the technical virtuosity of Keiths painting’s surface play of fast and slow areas, delicate and bold tonal transitions, the way in which feelings and ideas are wrestled with an articulated and a tangible sense of authentic emotional & formal exploration. These are paintings that breathe and unfurl, the more one considers their layered and rewarding qualities.
DAVID R NEWTON, Artist
Broadly speaking I see a painting as a visual record of time and space, a language like any other which communicates ideas, informing through colour, form and content. A painting should be challenging and informative, to be able to entice and impart knowledge which enriches and teaches us something new. Personally, I like to see the guts of a painting and to witness how it’s been made. A good painting has to be willing and able to withstand the cultural weight of art history, modernism and conceptualism put together, to remain relevant and progressive in an ever-expanding world.
Link to the next Artist: Mason Storm
Keith AshcroftUnited Kingdom