Phil Ashcroft’s practice explores ideas of narrative and the spectacle within landscape. Referencing the site-specific, his work considers our present-day visions, a climate ever more pertaining to aspiration and speculation within our modern sense of reality. Here he takes an in depth look at how his work has developed over the years

“My painting process has shifted between fluid and hard-edge graphics and back again over the years, for a number of reasons – the influence of the computer in my work and the search to find a method of painting that best works for me. Now I’m finding that I’m loosening my painting method again, allowing the brush-marks to become more relaxed.

For a while (2001-06) I composed and finalised my work in illustrator and translated this directly to the canvas as closely as possible. I wanted the quality of painting but the decision-making I could reach on-screen. This was because I lost a lot of time re-painting and over-painting, never being able to decide when a work was complete. This was a way of trying to discipline myself in decision-making, I couldn’t deviate from my digital composition – however I found the work lost spontaneity, I could never equal the crispness achieved on-screen and although I preferred the physical final quality of the painting it wasn’t as enjoyable a process to paint. Its good practice I feel to have an element of chance, risk and potential failure involved.

Zygon, acrylic on canvas, 152 x 102cm, 1998 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Zygon, acrylic on canvas, 152 x 102cm, 1998 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Wampa, acrylic on canvas, 152 x 102cm, 1998 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Wampa, acrylic on canvas, 152 x 102cm, 1998 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Toxic Landscape (1), acrylic on canvas, 51 x 41cm, 2002 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Toxic Landscape (1), acrylic on canvas, 51 x 41cm, 2002 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Plant 5 (Nocturne), acrylic on canvas, 51 x 41cm, 2003 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Plant 5 (Nocturne),
acrylic on canvas, 51 x 41cm, 2003 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Enclave, acrylic on canvas, 180 x 127cm, 2004 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Enclave, acrylic on canvas, 180 x 127cm, 2004 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Yeti Over Mount Fuji (1st edition - cyan), silkscreen on paper, 42 x 59.4cm, 2005 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Yeti Over Mount Fuji (1st edition – cyan),
silkscreen on paper, 42 x 59.4cm, 2005 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Krypton, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 92cm, 2006 (photo: Joe Plommer, 2012)

Krypton, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 92cm, 2006 (photo: Joe Plommer, 2012)

Krypton (LDF Version), acrylic on canvas, 92 x 122cm, 2007 (photo: Anthony Lam)

Krypton (LDF Version),
acrylic on canvas, 92 x 122cm, 2007 (photo: Anthony Lam)

Olkiluoto, acrylic on canvas, 250 x 180cm, 2008, Schwartz Gallery (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Olkiluoto, acrylic on canvas, 250 x 180cm, 2008, Schwartz Gallery (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Dallas (study), acrylic on canvas, 76.5 x 101.5cm, 2008 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Dallas (study), acrylic on canvas, 76.5 x 101.5cm, 2008 (photo: Matthew Blaney)

Better Days, Fragments of a Lost Language, Where You Go I Go Too, all works duratran print mounted in a light box, 71 x 50.5 x 8cm each, Heart of Glass, Shoreditch Town Hall, 2008 (photo: Francis Ware)

Better Days, Fragments of a Lost Language, Where You Go I Go Too,
all works duratran print mounted in a light box, 71 x 50.5 x 8cm each, Heart of Glass, Shoreditch Town Hall, 2008 (photo: Francis Ware)

Thunderhorse, acrylic wall painting, 1750 x 430cm, Fishmarket Gallery, 2011 (photo: Andrew Hilton)

Thunderhorse, acrylic wall painting, 1750 x 430cm, Fishmarket Gallery, 2011 (photo: Andrew
Hilton)

Cyclone, acrylic on canvas,183 x 240cm, 2012 (photo: Joe Plommer)

Cyclone, acrylic on canvas,183 x 240cm, 2012 (photo: Joe Plommer)

Five Past Midnight, acrylic on canvas,183 x 240cm, 2012 (photo: Joe Plommer)

Five Past Midnight,
acrylic on canvas,183 x 240cm, 2012 (photo: Joe Plommer)

Past Midnight by Phil Ashcroft – 2012″” width=””231″” height=””300″” class=””size-medium wp-image-198″” />[/caption]

Five Past Midnight (detail), acrylic on canvas,183 x 240cm, 2012 (photo: Joe Plommer)

Five Past Midnight (detail), acrylic on canvas,183 x 240cm, 2012 (photo: Joe
Plommer)

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