Artists in Lockdown: Malcolm Ashman RWA

In a special series, we asked artists associated with the RWA about how the COVID-19 lockdown has affected their life and work. The next artist is Malcolm Ashman…

“…I’m taking each day as it comes, making work and focussing on the physical and mental well being of those I love. I think that’s enough for now.”

Malcom Ashman: Rain on a dark hill. Eatercolour and pencil. 15x20cm

Before the lockdown I’d been making post cards for the RWA Secret Postcard auction. Having recently bought a large stack of paper I carried on making more small works. As the days contracted into a series of simple routines, the intimate scale of these pieces somehow fitted the mood. 

“I’d been drawing the weather and as the rain dried up I made my own. Alongside these miniature landscapes I’m working on a  series of larger drawings loosely based on characters from the Tempest. The landscape and the figure are colliding in the storm.  

“I’ve always been able to make work in one form or another whatever’s happening in my life. With plans for exhibitions on hold it’s been a good time for reflection and reassessment.

“As for the future, it’s as uncertain as it’s always been. I’m taking each day as it comes, making work and focussing on the physical and mental well being of those I love. I think that’s enough for now.”

Malcolm Ashman – Across the sea. Watercolour and pencil 15x20cm
Malcolm Ashman – Over the Hill. Water colour and pencil. 20x15cm
Malcom Ashman – Ariel. Watercolour and pencil 20x15cm


About the artist

Malcolm is a multi-disciplinary artist working in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and textiles. Most recently he co-curated, with Stephen Jacobson RWA, the exhibition ‘Body and Soul’ at the RWA.

He is an academician at the Royal West of England Academy, elected 2016, a member of the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) and the Bath Society of Artists.


Artist statement: ‘I paint the landscape and I draw the figure. Last year I made small sewn sculptures. I’ve always embraced new ways of working, I’m restless but with purpose. Everything I make is connected, each thread running parallel, informing the others, always pushing forward.”

Meet the Artist: Malcolm Ashman RWA


Concept and interview by Laurel Smart


The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

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