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Astrig Akseralian

Astrig obtained a Degree in Ceramics from the Central School of Art and Design, London in 1986. From there she went on to sell her ceramics through a number of galleries and shops around the country and internationally. Decorating was always the focus. Her surfaces were full of wild animals and colour.
After a number of years of selling her ceramics, Astrig had a career change moving to work in the film industry as a painter in numerous Creature Effects Departments over a 27 year span. After many films and many locations she made the decision to leave London and moved to Cambridge where she now paints full-time.
“My painting style has evolved gradually through experimenting with a huge variety of media and for some years my painting focus had been landscapes and particularly allotments. I love allotments because they are complete worlds in themselves. They are often quirky and always unique. As a keen gardener and vegetable grower I feel the sense of promise and renewal they hold as each new year begins. These themes are still appearing and in my recent work I have found myself, unconsciously, returning to other pre-loved themes. As well as landscapes and figures, animals have been appearing in my paintings and my work has gradually taken on a more narrative quality. Many of the things that I love have found each other and are now forming a natural blend. I realise that my repeating themes are to do with the relationships that we have with the soil and living creatures. Ancient, deep connections.”
“I usually work on a series of paintings, on paper but also increasingly on wooden panels as I like the tough surface which allows me to scratch through the paint and sand back when necessary. Having first mixed myself an exciting and inspiring palette of colours, I initially build up layers of paint in acrylic, working quickly and without having a definite plan or worrying about where I am heading. This is a joyful stage as I can be free to make marks and really push the paint. As the work progresses I slow down and consider my composition, editing backwards and forwards until I feel happy with the balance. Figures come and go, are joined by animal companions who, in turn, often move around the painting until finding their place.
“Colour has always excited me, the contrasts and the combinations and I am always wanting to maintain the freshness, energy and movement that is so easily achieved in the initial painting process.”