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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 energy 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.

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