Cornwall

In 2005, Ashley Hanson and his young family left London for Cornwall, to find be close to the coastal landscape that continued to inspire his work.

It was inevitable Porthleven would be the subject of his first Cornish paintings: Peter Lanyon’s ‘Porthleven’ 1951 painting had long been an inspiration.  Echoing his Scotland series, the starting point for the first Porthleven paintings was the Cornish flag: six white wooden crosses nailed to six canvases. In the first paintings, the harbor-shapes hang from the crosses, embedded in the paint, their physicality replicating the drop from quayside to water below.

In ‘Porthleven 5’ the cross was removed halfway through the process, leaving behind a ghostly indentation: a moment Ashley acknowledges as being one of the most exciting moments of his career.  A repeat of the process in ‘Porthleven 6’ created ‘an exquisite, unpaintable edge’ on the bottom left pier. In ‘Porthleven 14’, made during a Residency at Canford School in 2009, the arrangement of the four canvases recreate the St. Piran’s flag of Cornwall, the white cross the wall between them.

The harbour towns of Cornwall, with their intoxicating mix of the natural and the man-made, have inspired several series. Aside from the twenty seven Porthleven paintings to date, there has been work about Penzance, Padstow, the Fowey River and Charlestown. The eight paintings in the Charlestown series were commissioned by the Campden Gallery in 2008 and ‘Charlestown 7’ was exhibited in the 2012 ‘The Discerning Eye’

In 2014, Ashley was elected a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists.