Ashley Frost never expected to find a place in the art community.
Image description: Ashley alongside his painting of the trails in the escarpment.
Now, Frost finds solace and freedom in painting landscapes beyond his easel. His work, which secured a spot in H.Parsons’ collection of art at the Scarborough Art Show, acquired its significance with the vibrancy of the artwork, depicting nature found on the Wodi Wodi track in the northern suburbs of the Illawarra.
Ashley finds himself drawing inspiration from the escarpment regularly, stimulated by the striking colours of the Australian bush.
“There is an inherent abstraction in particularly denser bush and it’s nice to find ways to represent that abstraction,” he says.
“It’s enormously illuminated by light, it’s wonderful for colour.”
Image description: Rough works done in the bush that are taken home to draw inspiration from.
Frost left school at 15 and entered the real estate industry, working for five years before submitting his work to an Art school in Sydney where his application was successful.
In his second year of school, Ashley embarked on a maiden voyage of a Russian ice breaker that was being chartered for a tourist company as a zodiac driver. Here, Frost had time to experiment with his artistry and create work inspired by the harsh and barren landscape surrounding him.
“Everything I looked at I wanted to paint and draw,” He says.
Ashley compares Antarctica to the environments he has been working with recently. He explains that Antarctica resembles that of the exposed and arid landscapes found in the Australian desert.
Frost is constantly looking for creative motivation in locations close to his home. Three years ago, after the devastating New South Wales bushfires, Ashley travelled down to Mogo to artistically document the change in habitat.
“It was nice to paint and draw down there to acknowledge the place and it was important to capture it,” he says.
Image description: Tasmanian coastline and a portrait painted on magnetic tiles.
Finding a place in the Illawarra art community has been crucial to encouraging Ashley’s involvement in the arts industry and his support for other artists. Ashley is eager to be involved in community events, such as the Scarborough Art Show, where local artists can celebrate their work with other industry professionals and public audiences.
“When you go to these events, you realise how big the community is, how vibrant and how diverse it is,” he says.
Ashley explains that this is the first time he has had work displayed in a funeral home and finds the idea of art in a space of mourning to be comforting. The piece that was bought by H.Parsons is full of colour, with light breaking through the trees, the artwork has a sense of warmth that extends past the canvas.
“It’s a very joyous and uplifting painting,” he says.
“It was really nice to know where it was going.”