Robert Ascroft – “New West By The Numbers” – July 1 – 28, 2019
The Gallery at Queen’s Park presents:
“New West by the Numbers”
by Robert Ascroft
Exhibition Dates: July 1 – 28, 2019
Opening Reception: Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 6-8pm
Artist Talk: Sunday, July 14, 2019, 3-4pm
Fascinated with urban environs, Robert Ascroft feels that city structures, like organic life, undergo creation, aging, decay and destruction, and sees beauty in their varying “life stages.”
During New Westminster’s current urban revitalization, a few of its unique buildings have been demolished. Some are slated for destruction; others are being revitalized or repurposed, and some are just enduring. Ascroft’s watercolours document some of this city’s unique buildings. His subject choices are based on two aspects: a building’s symmetry, and its windows. He seeks rectangles, square shapes and repetitious lines that hold particular appeal.
Shakespeare said that “eyes are the window to your soul.” Ascroft views a building’s windows as the ‘eyes’ to its soul, and seeks structures where windows may both show what is inside and possibly reflect the outside surrounds.
New West By the Numbers identifies paintings by street number but not by street name. Ascroft wants the viewer to concentrate on the building itself and not its location. These are not architectural renderings—some details have been omitted and colours modified to create a cohesive image. Each title includes a statement referring to the building’s status in the fall of 2018. Ascroft’s style has been influenced by American Andrew Wyeth, Newfoundland artist Christopher Pratt and Fort Langley artist Alan Wylie.
Born in Montréal, Québec, Ascroft’s interest in art emerged in childhood and early adulthood. During his first career as a graphic artist, he studied evenings for a degree in art education, and then earned a diploma for the teaching of art. He introduced and taught a high school alternative art program based on mass media for four years, serving on the province’s high school examinations committee for two years.
Obtaining a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, Ascroft’s professional path changed direction when he embarked on a succession of careers: university teaching, corporate training development, business management and consulting.
Upon retirement, Ascroft resumed his passion for art and taught watercolour painting at Century House for four years. He lives in New Westminster with his wife, Jeanie.