From Darkness Comes Light: Manchester Paintings from Michael John Ashcroft1. Dec - 1. Feb 14 / ended ARTZU Gallery
From Darkness Comes Light: Manchester Paintings from Michael John Ashcroft
Born in 1969, Michael John Ashcroft grew up in the small picturesque village of Croston in the heart of Lancashire. From an early age he had a keen interest in art but after leaving school he began his career as an engineer, painting and sketching only in his spare time.
It took a devastating illness in 1998 before Michael decided to paint more seriously. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and after a life saving operation Michael began to spend all of his spare time studying art; he returned to college and completed an OCA in oil painting.
“The poignant moment for me was in hospital after the operation. I remember looking at my reflection in the window. One side of my face was in the light the other in darkness. It was as if the light side was the healthy side and the dark side was the ill side.”
It is this concept and fascination with the dark and the light which have inspired Michael’s paintings ever since.
Michael's career has gone from strength to strength. He entered the International Artist exhibition in 2005 where his painting was selected as a top ten finalist. Further successful exhibitions and awards have followed including winner of the famous Harris Open Exhibition. Michael has now been elected to the prestigious Manchester Academy of Fine Arts
Recent achievements include Michael’s appearance on BBC 2’s ‘Show Me The Monet’ where all three critics chose to put his submission through to the final at the ICA gallery, London.
As Michael says, "Lancashire is a wonderful place for an artist to live, from its luscious greens and warm yellows during summer, to the long winter months where the skies hang majestically over the drab landscape; there is an endless amount of subject matter."
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