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. From apocalyptic expectations in our present environmental, financial and political climate, this ‘threat’ of proximity signifies the potential collision that reflects our changing ideology of past modernity, concerns and images.
With today’s realisation of the inadequate structures of the past, modernist ideals once efficiently suited to its site and purpose now stand abandoned and in decline. Architectural relics, defunct from the evolution of industrialisation and power, leave behind a certain loss in our path for advancement.
A derelict hospital, oil depots, nuclear power stations, the abominable snowman; collectively these semi-surreal settings and cartoon-like motifs appear as mysterious manifestations, phenomena both real and imagined. Combining influences from abstract expressionism, British landscape painting, Japanese woodcuts, and graphic street art, Ashcroft integrates varied visual styles to generate a crossover between space, object and environment.
Solo exhibitions include Toxicity, Margaret Harvey Gallery, UH Galleries, St Albans (2006); Yeti In Hong Kong, EXIT, Hong Kong (2005) and Nitro Deluxe, Deptford X, London (2001). Ashcroft was a finalist in the Celeste Art Prize 2007 and selected for Contemporary Art Society’s ARTfutures 2007 and 2005, Bloomberg SPACE, London.
Group exhibitions include Intervention Intervention, Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton (2011); The Free Art Fair, Barbican, London (2009);Deptford X, London (2009); Heart of Glass, Concrete and Glass, London (2008); Wonder Island, Schwartz Gallery, London (2008); The Golden Record, The Collective Gallery, Edinburgh touring to The Lincoln Collection and g39, Cardiff (2008-09); Out of the Box and in The Garman Ryan Collection, New Art Gallery, Walsall (2007-08).
Ashcroft also exhibits as ‘PhlAsh’ collaborating on live-painting projects in galleries and alternative spaces from street locations to shops. These have included No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London (2010); Cans 2 Festival, London (2008); Special Relationship, Scion Space, Los Angeles (2008), Elephant Technique, Village Underground (2006), All The People We Like Are Dead, London (2004), and Graffiti Meets Windows 1, Hank-Yu Department Store, Osaka (2002).
Works are held in public and private collections worldwide. Corporate commissions include projects for Amnesty International (UK), British Film Institute, Levis, Nike Town, Royal Mail, Sony PSP and Yahoo (UK).
Ashcroft lives and works in London.