The Liverpool Academy of Arts
The Scene Changes - Recent works by Grahame Ashcroft
Grahame can hardly remember a time when he didn't draw or paint. His parents were keen churchgoers and they soon realised that they could keep young Grahame quiet during the sermons with paper and pencils.
His style was shaped by the sixties psychedelia. He acknowledges earlier influences by Gauguin, Matisse and Vermeer but feels he has now found his own style. In his view -"When you are younger it's harder to escape from your influences, but as you get older you begin to discover yourself." For Grahame painting is a lifetime's adventure with a destination you never reach. He says "It's something which I can't not do. Creating something is strange. You spend all your time working with something that is not right and then, when you get it right you put it aside and start something else. But if you are lucky the painting starts to acquire a life of its own. Like taking a dog for a walk and the dog starts leading you."
His paintings are brilliantly coloured, rather magical pieces, including landscapes which have a nostalgic, picture book quality, like images of a world like ours, but not quite. Though he may find inspiration from the river estuary he doesn't consider himself to be a Merseyside artist. In his own words - "I'm more of a north west artist. I suspect I could live anywhere. Nature comes into it but it's also imagination."
For this exhibition his paintings fit into four broad categories - Landscapes, Seascapes, Fantasy and Music. Scroll down, to see some images of his work in these categories together with his comments on the subject. Then click on an image you like and you will see it full size in our viewer.
The exhibititon opens to the public on the 18th June and will run to the 28th June.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 12 til 4pm.
Panoramas of the Exhibition
Click on either of the images of the exhibition below to see some panoramic views:-
The painted landscape is still a valid artistic endeavour, allowing observation, memory and imagination to coalesce. The fact that these are painted rather than photographed or videoed allows them to resonate with their artistic ancestors, particularly the Post-impressionists whose intentions may have been similar, despite working at a time when ecological breakdown was perceived as less of a problem.
A Liverpool born artist working in oils. Living near an estuary with distant horizons, big skies and dramatic sunsets is an inspiration for any artist. Images of sky sea and land - sometimes just sky and sea - present interesting formal problems and, hopefully, interesting solutions.
These paintings - which I call, for want of a better word, my 'fantasy' paintings - begin with few, if any, ideas as to what might appear. I often start with a circus ring, setting up an arena in which things can happen. The ring sometimes disappears, sometimes remains. Random marks, old photographs, memories and feelings eventually combine into images which often encourage widely differing narrative explanations, all of which I'm happy to entertain - particularly as some are often quite entertaining.
Liverpool has always been a jazz desert, but monthly Indian music concerts at the Capstone Theatre are a consolation. This wonderful, largely improvised music, full of surprise and excitement , like jazz, is an irresistible inspiration for anyone captivated by form and colour.