For background on the artist and works, see below.
About the Artist
Born in 1989, Samoan and Pakeha, Joshua Bashford gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Honours from the University of Canterbury in 2012, and lives and works near LIttle River. Time spent in the region, inspires many of the motifs in his work, the river, the roads, the fish, the hawks… as well as visits to Samoa – a connection with environment, as well as faith and cultural background.
Bashford was introduced to The Diversion Gallery by noted NZ-Pacific artist Fatu Feu’u when Feu’u mentored students as Artist in Residence at the Macmillian Brown Centre for Pacific Studies in 2011. They have exhibited together in Canterbury, in Apia (Samoa) as part of the Return to Hawaiiki visiting artists programme, and at The Diversion Gallery in Picton.
Much of Bashford’s work employs printmaking techniques such as woodcuts, sometimes on a very large scale, and more recently, using paper cutouts to create unique monoprints (ed 1/1). He carries this over into paintings and mixed media works, but woodcut remains his principal medium.
Sometimes he introduces colour in a complex technique involving embossing the woodcut into the canvas, painting into the impressed pattern then overprinting the dynamic inked lines of the woodcut. These are unique monoprints, with up to four very different colour variations on the compositions, ranging from vivid works with considerable depth to intense, dark, brooding paintings.
Further new woodcuts on hessian are available to view on request – please enquire.
Josh Bashford dives into the restorative qualities of nature, wildlife, family and friendship in a new series of dramatic woodcuts, in high quality ink on canvas and hessian. His Embrace series are worked intuitively, the Gather series more formally exploring ideas of gathering with friends, celebrating with flowers. The Plentiful works introduce landforms reminiscent of the Canterbury and other coastlines, teeming with unseen fish life.
The small works on hessian continue earlier themes of connecting with nature to revive and lift the spirit; in the one-off works using paper cutout relief shapes, there are connections with family, friends and nature to offer a sense of refuge.
Bashford says of his black and white woodcut works: ‘I have continued to work in a rather meditative way. They are heavily inspired by the landscape that I pass through on the drive to and from Little River and Christchurch. As I round the many bends in the road I am often in awe of the changes of light and movement especially around the waters of lakes Forsyth and Ellesmere. I have grown up by these lakes, fishing in the local river and I have spent hours waiting, watching, miles away in thought.’
His vast woodblock prints are intricately carved, and feature motifs of wildlife, people, particularly the energry of birdlife. There is a sense of protection as well as uplift in the works; and in the expression, a shape-shifting quality in which details emerge in viewing over time.
He has already established a very original, distinctive style, a fast rising artist who is a master of woodcut, one to watch in the future.
Please contact us to confirm current prices: most prices are posted at the time of exhibition, and may be revised as the artists' values increase.