Born in 1989, of Pakeha and Samoan decent Joshua Bashford gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honours from the University of Canterbury in 2012. He lives and works near Little River. Many of the motifs in his work – river, roads, fish, birds – are inspired by his connection to the landscape surrounding his home territory.
Bashford’s work employs printmaking techniques such as woodcuts, sometimes on a very large scale. He has a very individual carving style; chiseling light in flowing marks through a background of black. At first glance they appear to be complex abstract patterns, but as one looks longer, one sees the images teem with life and symbology.
‘My work explores mark making and its ability to portray themes such as faith, family and landscape. I work from a variety of sources including family photographs, internet images and pictures found in art books and magazines. These images are then taken and manipulated resulting in abstracted imagery which emerges and disappears into the canvas creating a pushing and pulling of symbols, figures and faces.’
‘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.’
Josh Bashford has exhibited in Christchurch, Blenheim, Auckland and Samoa and his work is included in numerous private collections.