Artist of the Week: Tony Bishop

I am a fine artist who uses all types of drawing  and painting techniques, but what I find most satisfying is using mixed medium; types of ‘found’ or used materials including metals, wood, old denim, and anything else that will add texture, interest, and a touch of soul.
I tend to work in layers and use gas blow torches and elastomeric rubberised membranes to bring the whole finished piece together, before finishing with oils, acrylics and household gloss. I like to work on beechwood and usually work on large scale pieces (8ft or 6ft). Instead of canvas,  I like to use more unusual materials, such as reclaimed chunks of metal, old doors anything that I can salvage and has some history attached to it; I have been known to utilise old burial boards and ships decks, as I believe it adds Chi and spirit, as well as being very robust to use and work with.
Weather permitting, I enjoy working outside; I completed one of my seascapes under a red hot sun on a baking hot day, whilst listening to some classic Beach Boys tracks on my iPod. Music is very important to my creative process. I really enjoy the starting and preparation process and nothing can match the anticipation and excitement of starting a new piece of work, although more often than not, I end up fighting and cursing at it so its then off on my motorcycle for a ride in the country to return with fresh new eyes!
unnamed-5I like to work quickly, spontaneously and with a lot of free space around me but most of all feel that my finished piece of art will be original, contemporary and not particularly perfect. I really don’t believe that art should be so precise, as for me, a camera can take care of that, and I’d rather manage to make the viewer smile, or even better, think.
I attended the Gamble Institute of Fine Art in the mid-70s punk era, but really believe that if you are a true individual creator, you are born with gift and I sometimes think that other people’s methods may influence you too much. I have held four solo shows around Merseyside, at 33-45 Parr St Studios, The Godfrey Pilkington, The Citadel and also at Aintree Hospital as part of PARTIA arts. I have also exhibited in The Atkinson (Southport), The Chapel Gallery (West Lancs), Rennie’s as part of a Channel 4 Big Art Project, Huyton and Knowsley Gallery and have recently hung one of my contemporary abstract works in Frederiks on Hope street.
Recently, I have worked with students at John Moores University and was Artist in Residence at the award winning Carmel College for six months, as well as winning visual artist of the year. In 2014 I am hoping to be involved with art galleries in North Wales and Cheshire, as well as other local projects in the pipeline.
I am currently working on six large scale pieces on the theme of ‘coastline’, inspired by my many trips around Europe. When I am not producing art, I like to visit the The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, as well as many of the smaller galleries that are popping up around the city, although I must say The Museum of Modern Art is where best to find inspiration.


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