DAVID INSHAW is one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists, whose paintings, etchings and drawings are often set in the downlands of southern England. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Tate Gallery.
An epiphany came in 1967 when a girlfriend introduced him to the work of Thomas Hardy, a writer of profound emotional depth and, for Inshaw, one of several influential ‘heroes’ that include William Blake, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Samuel Palmer, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and the composer Edward Elgar. Hardy’s use of the English countryside as a metaphor for the complex emotional landscapes of the human psyche struck a powerful chord with Inshaw and became a catalyst for the direction his art would subsequently take.
By the early 1970s he had developed an uniquely Inshavian style of painting and produced the first of his mature works, with exquisitely-crafted paintings such as The Raven, Our days were a joy and our paths through flowers, The Badminton Game and She did not turn winning him critical acclaim and a wide audience. The Badminton Game was subsequently acquired by the Tate Gallery in London and is probably Inshaw’s most famous painting. The artist describes its genesis elsewhere on this website, but it is also worth considering it here for the themes it contains can be traced through much of Inshaw’s work to this day.