Ross Eccles, born 13th November 1937, is
a contemporary English artist and painter. He was born in Blackburn,
England and grew up close by in the small Lancashire village
Ross was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar
School before studying Architecture at the Birmingham School
of Architecture. He practiced as an architect for 30 years,
firstly in England and then in Canada, before settling in Ireland
where he ran his own practice up until 1992.
He has been based in Dublin, Ireland for
almost 40 years, retiring from Architecture in 1992 in order
to devote himself to art full-time.
His early work and style was influenced by
his architectural training and was in the form of architectural
sketches and watercolours. By the early 1990s he had begun to
develop a more twisted, abstract style of painting as a reaction
to the rigidity and structure that he had faced as an architect.
His architectural background still undoubtedly
has an influence on his artworks, as his subjects frequently
include familiar architectural landmarks and building structures,
although these are painted in an entirely new light that reflects
the artist’s own vision, with bold colours and broken lines.
In recent years, Ross’s style has become looser and his brushstrokes
more obvious and less defined as he experiments more and more
with acrylic paint.
His paintings are created to provide a fresh
perspective on otherwise mundane subjects and to free the viewer
from the confinements and limitations of everyday existence.
“There is no need to copy an image
exactly because it is more exciting for a viewer to read into
a painting, gently guided by the artist’s triggers, so that
they can make their own judgement on the artwork.”
Ross often gives demonstrations to school
students in the hope that he can get them to see the world around
them in a new way and change their mindset in regards to life
and art. He believes that conventional teaching “moulds
people into similar patterns and suppresses natural individuality”.
Ross believes that people should be open-minded
and think more about what they could do to add to society
rather than being apathetic in their regard for it. In an
artist’s statement in 2008, Ross proclaimed that, “pushing
the boundaries of art through the application of inventive
ideas and energy is all I strive for”.
There is a lot of movement within his works
and the emphasis is on the importance of colour and light
over line and accuracy. He says:
“Rather than recreating the subject
precisely I want to re-create the sense of what the eye
captures when it looks at the subject and merge that with
an element of fantasy to create an original vision of an
everyday subject matter.”
As an artist Ross wants to share his vision
and thoughts, with a yearning to articulate his visceral emotions
through a scope of works ranging from minimalist figures to
complex worlds of colour and line. Because of this he is a
continually evolving painter who is not limited to a particular
style or medium and varying influences can easily be seen
when examining his growing body of works.
Elements of Surrealism, Cubism and Abstract
Expressionism can also be observed in his quirky paintings,
and he has said himself that artists like Salvador Dali, Picasso
and Pollock have had a profound influence on his style.
He sees his art as being highly autobiographical
because each painting is a part of his being and his existence,
a tangible reflection and extension of his self. A book revealing
more about the artist’s life and work, “Ross: a Journey
into Art” , is due to be published in autumn 2008.
If you are, or know of any local
artists (painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, etc) located
or based in and around Manchester please let us know, and if appropriate,
we’ll try to include them. Contact us directly by email.