Humanity Through the Eyes of the Self

Humanity Through the Eyes of the Self


When I first met Nicholas Eddershaw he had been living essentially as a recluse for over 20 years. He had a wild look about him which just doesn’t come with today’s media savvy contemporary artists who can follow art fashion as much as they follow their art.

It was refreshing to discover someone who had made a striking and powerful inner journey and had something intrinsically human to say. No irony here, although ironically, Eddershaw’s work is deeply self referential whilst happily not following the circular references of the the latest trends.

 

Artzu manchester art gallery oil paintings

Nicholas Eddershaw, The Acrobatics Of Defeat And Hope

 

Whilst working through powerful emotions of grief and despair at the loss of his parents Eddershaw had locked himself away in Beaufrout Castle courtesy of the owner Aiden Cuthbertam. Here, with essentially only himself as a human subject, he began to use his own body as a window into something more universal.

 

Artzu manchester art gallery oil paintings

 

“I have a sense that for me it is only through an extreme subjectivity that I may approach an objective, more universal commentary on the human condition. Therefore I have used my own body and facial expressions to explore the ‘self’ as internal narrative, through gesture and movement conveying urgency of mood, aspiration and despair in a series of ‘disclosures’, periods of significant ‘rites of passage’, in order to mark identity visually. The tension created through narcissism and vanity as oppose to a deeper insight interested me – for each figure was done from life – many, many hours of looking in a mirror.”

 

 

 

 

 

Over the last five years Eddershaw has become entranced with the moods and seclusion that woodland and moors have to offer. As an aside he had explained to me how sleeping rough in a local forest for nearly two years had created a deep sense of connection between his art work and the land. The figure in the landscape allowed him to explore a sense of acceptance and exclusion. He explained how he felt this had a restorative value and yet also created a deep sense of loneliness.

 

Artzu art gallery Manchester landscape painting

 

Nicholas Eddershaw attended Newcastle University under the professorship of the painter Norman Adams. He was a finalist in the Observer Art Prize and was exhibited both at the Mall Galleries (London) and in Paris. He now lives and works in a very remote high moorland, part of Northumberland which suits his purposes.

Click here to view Nicholas Eddershaw’s full painting, photography and drawing portfolio