If you were among the tens-of-thousands of people who flocked to The Strand for this year’s Strand Ephemera, you have most likely seen Lisa Ashcroft’s work. Lisa’s Ephemera pieces were the colourful and quirky installations on the southern end of the Rockpool and included a giant tongue made from a child’s slide, a peepshow in a plastic clamshell, and an explosion of brightly coloured tentacles seeping from a violin.
Even as a child, the UK-born, Townsville-based artist knew she was destined to pursue a life in the Visual Arts and was encouraged to do so by her father.
“My father was a builder and he taught me to read perspective, elevation drawings and draw,” said Lisa.
“When I completed fine art at the University of Wales, I set myself up as an interior designer supervising a team of 12 artists to produce paint effects and murals in mega night clubs and bars in the UK and Europe.
“After 10 years I sustained a serious industrial injury and was forced to change career. This made me reflect on my own art practice and I applied for an art scholarship award at the New York School of Art.”
This is were Lisa began to take her art seriously and after receiving critical reviews in the New York Times for her work, she was accepted for further study at the Cyprus College of Art.
“When I eventually returned to the UK I worked on different painting techniques and found my “niche” in landscapes and abstract expressionism,” said Lisa.
This niche focus will form the basis of Lisa’s upcoming solo exhibition, Glitterati, at Umbrella Studio contemporary art. The exhibition will celebrate the bright, luscious landscapes that Lisa has discovered in North Queensland.
“I have never lived in a place where there is such clarity of light as Queensland,” Lisa said.
“It reminds me of St Ives in Cornwall where all the artists flock to live and work because of the ‘brightness’ of light. The sunrise, the sunset, and midday tones all have a unique colour spectrum. I hope that my work can portray a little of this. The body of my work is rich in colour studded with pastel and pale paintings capturing different times of the day lighting.”
Lisa’s paintings are full of colour, texture and pattern.
“I use watercolour, ink, acrylic, and a topping of oil. It can be a downright frustrating process, but when you hit that sweet spot it makes the sweat and tears worth it. If I am not happy with a painting, I will grind it back to a raw canvas with a sander, this in itself produces some beautiful patinas.”
Lisa’s Exhibition Queensland Gliterati will be held at Umbrella Studio contemporary art from 27 September to 3 November. ‘The Gallery is set to relocate soon – check it’s website for details.