The journey of the artist is that of a river winding its way to the sea;
the quiet depths are the place of the soul where the true voice along each journey of discovery can be heard;
the surface a fluid canvas of expression where the elements converge,
where wind and wave, colour and contrast reflect the changing light of the day
and allow the truth of the journey to be revealed.
The journey of the artist is that of the seeker… (Noel Ashton 2015)
HUMAN NATURE - A JOURNEY OF REMEMBERING
A narrative exhibition of twelve conceptual sculptures and the journey that brought them into being.
“Before we can speak of the rhino, the whale, climate change or the state of the earth, we must first speak of ourselves, and seek to better understand the path to our happiness, to fulfilling lives and nurturing relationships, and what it means to become expressions of our fullest hidden potential”.
HumanNature is a story of the inner journey of an artist, following a search for place, identity and meaning which evolved during the contemplative process of creating a series of sculptures. These sculptural pieces give context to a journey of deeper reflection and questioning around the fundamental issues that we all face as we navigate our lives through a world of contradiction, possibility and challenge.
“For many years now I have felt the coming restlessness of change, with recurring thoughts and questions continually visiting my consciousness, the dichotomies and imbalances of modern life unsettling my understanding, observing how we live in a world torn apart by the ravages of war and brutality, but held together by the very human forces of empathy and compassion. And how we now live in an age of unequalled possibility, but see lives filled with sadness and pain, an age of abundance where there is such poverty, not only physically, but also a great poverty of the soul, of a time when the earth is reeling under the heavy footfall of man, for even as we promise our children a better tomorrow, we continue to knowingly destroy our beautiful blue planet… Clearly something is not right.”
As individuals we all possess incredible potential, we just need to reclaim these parts of ourselves and bring them back into the world. HumanNature seeks to help facilitate this process through a contemplative exhibition, a book and DVD, and interactive social media platforms.
To find out more, visit Human Nature
THE POWER OF SCIENCE, ART AND STORYTELLING
Sharing the human journey through talks, books and digital mediums
Storytelling is something intrinsically human, and for thousands of years stories where told by the light of the fire under a full African moon, when people came together to share and remember, the children wide-eyed as the elders gave the gifts from their lives, stories of the hunt, the birth of life and the way the world was formed, and how we now sit alongside the elephant and the rhino, cosmologies and sacred stories held in that moment, and then passed down through the generations.
I have the privilege of being a storyteller, and although I now use projectors and computers to combine images and sounds with storylines from the heart, the aim is still the same, to bring people together and to take them on a journey back to their own hearts, for they are the storytellers of tomorrow.
To find out more, go to Speaker
IN SEARCH OF THE HORSE - AN ARTISTIC JOURNEY
A creative journey using sculptures, paintings, anatomical prints and photographs in search of the horse
How does one speak of the horse, an animal of such symbolic complexity that descriptive words lead the mind through a kaleidoscope of truths – noble, gentle, wild, powerful – an endless list which defines different horses, or even the same horse at a different time. An animal that has been central to our existence for thousands of years, for if you follow the footprints of man through the ages, alongside our own you shall find the tracks of the horse, climbing the same hill, forging pathways into distant lands, pausing at the edge of the cooling stream after a long dusty day, adventures bound along journeys of discovery.
And with this came a deeper knowing, an understanding between species.
As an artist I seek this horse, the one which carried us forward, and still offers us a sense of connection; and if you are on a deeper quest, a mirror to the hidden soul. (Noel Ashton 2014)
To find out more, go to Artworks of horses
“Meeting artist-sculptor Noel Ashton in his studio is a humbling experience. This is a place where sculptures breathe and paintings move. This is a place where art has been taken so seriously that it becomes something complex, something anatomically precise, something real.” (Janis Theron)
PROTECTING THE OCEANS AND OTHER CONSERVATION PROJECTS
Weaving together science, art and narratives to initiate environmental and social transformation.
We have reached a point along the human journey when business as usual is not possible, with social and environmental challenges facing us everywhere we look. But change is difficult, and begins in the mind and heart of the individual, and this is where the power of art, the precision of science and the journeys of the storyteller can come together to help us experience the world in a way that provokes us into reconsidering our perspectives. Over the years Noel has combined his art, science, narratives and African heritage into programmes which have been described as engaging and innovative, ranging from ‘Sacred Ocean’ which was launched by Archbishop Tutu, ‘Mapungubwe Revisited’ in association with WWF, ‘Windows on the Oceans’ and the De Beers panels with the Two Oceans Aquarium, and other initiatives and partnerships over the years.
To find out more, go to Conservationist