If you had told Christopher Shaw when he visited the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery at the age of 10 that 22 years later there would be his first large-scale exhibition, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.
The Bridgewater High and Warrington Collegiate student has come full circle by putting “Patiently Waiting” front and center until June 26.
His work comprises around fifty canvases and represents approximately six years of work.
His mother was one of the first people to see her son’s talent and always encouraged him to be creative.
However, Christopher wasn’t convinced the professional art world was for him until he spent some time in Toronto 12 years ago and immersed himself in the art scene. from the street.
This inspired him to go to Leeds Arts University, the only specialized arts university in the north of England, when he returned to the UK.
Christopher, from Appleton, has continued to paint almost every day since graduating and his patience has now been rewarded with recognition on his doorstep.
Some works of Christophe
It is the first event at the museum since late 2020, as the Grade II listed building has just reopened after pandemic restrictions followed by essential roof repairs.
Two other temporary exhibitions were launched in parallel: Lagoons by Ruby Tingle and Precarious Existence by Steve Sutton.
“I told people it was really weird – it’s like someone cut off the top of my head and everyone was standing there and staring into my mind,” Christopher said during of the launch.
“I thought it would make me nervous, but so far it’s been a good event and it’s good that I’m sharing the spotlight with a few other artists.
“When you think of galleries, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s a place for established artists, but what I admire about Culture Warrington (the charity that runs the museum) , is that it gives a chance to people like me who are just starting out on their journey.
“The support has been incredible. It’s great to have a place like this on my doorstep to showcase my work. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.
“There’s also an art gallery in town called Technically Brilliant where people can submit their work and all that support has started to create a little community. A lot of Warrington artists are coming out of carpentry now.
Christopher’s work is inspired by his own experiences, classic stories like Alice in Wonderland, pop culture and even ancient artifacts, while his style is influenced by Francis Bacon, known for his disturbing imagery.
His exhibition is on view until June 26
He added, “When I started I was always drawn to the darker themes in art. For example, Francis Bacon is one of my idols.
“I used to go to art galleries and see landscapes and still lifes and nothing really touched me until I saw the work of Francis Bacon.
“They’re really quite simple but it made me feel in a way that I hadn’t felt with an artwork until then.”
Indeed, how art makes you feel has become an important aspect of Christopher’s work because for him it has been a form of therapy.
“That’s where I got some of my style from but also everyone goes through dark times in their life,” he said.
“There were times when I struggled with mental health issues and depression and that gave me different ideas in terms of imagery.
“Art has helped me through difficult times. It has allowed me to draw the positive from the negative.
“I hope this will give me the chance to look at my paintings in a different light. It’s always nice to hear other people’s points of view.
“I feel really lucky to have the exhibition here. I remember my mum taking me and my sisters to the museum to check it out when we got to Warrington.
“So it’s really weird to be here now and have an art exhibit when she was still pushing me in this direction.”