Artist paints from heart

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Ashburton based artist Ash Shaw, with two of his Bobby Kurb works.

By Mick Jensen

A flashback 19 years ago and the sight of a woman beaten black and blue by her father is heavily influencing a chapter of work from Ashburton based artist Ash Shaw.

Better known for his high quality landscapes, the artist is now also translating domestic abuse ideas on to canvas under the pseudonym Bobby Kurb.

Painting from a studio above the Ashburton Courier office on Burnett Street, the artist says his chosen subject is taboo for some, but his interpretation of it is “about observation, not protest”.

“There is a lot of emotion in the works.

“Art for me is about being technical in the execution, but painting should come from the heart.”

He said domestic abuse “drove him mad”.

The memory of the battered woman had resurfaced after a few tough years for himself personally.

He had been badly stung in business dealings down south and had suffered further stress and trauma during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes when living in Temuka.

After a return to England for seven years, he had come back to New Zealand last year, but was still battling some health issues, including chronic fatigue.

“I want people to interpret the Bobby Kurb paintings in their own way and to see them as pieces of art.

“The subject matter will resonate with people in different ways, I know that.”

Ash Shaw was born in Auckland, but moved to England at a young age.

He opted to undertake an art and sculpture apprenticeship for three years rather than attend art school.

He has been a professional artist for more than 25 years, but since moving to Ashburton, where his in-laws live, he has worked with 3D modelling at Bradfords.

He firmly believes in using the best materials for his artworks and is a big admirer of painting master JMW Turner, as well as more contemporary artists such as Lucien Freud and Marco Grassi.

An exhibition featuring works under the Bobby Kurb name is currently running at Geraldine’s McAtamney Gallery and closes on February 15.