There’s beauty in everything, but not everyone sees it.
But in the eyes of Josh Bashford, beauty is visible even in the tiniest of things.
Josh, an artist by profession, knows that life is never dull if you take time to appreciate and use your God-given talents to bring to life the beauty in what people don’t see.
The 28-year-old from Christchurch, New Zealand, is in the country with Fatu Feu’u, who he has been working alongside, for an exhibition at the Pacific Arts Association conference scheduled to be held at the National University of Samoa today.
Mr. Bashford is not a foreigner in our island nation because he has maternal links to our paradise.
He specializes in woodcut art and paintings and to him; his work is a way of giving back to the community and also encouraging young, aspiring artists to keep striving for their dreams.
“I have been a fulltime artist since I left Canterbury University in 2012 and I consider this my full time job because I also get to earn from my work and the money I make, also helps my family and my plans to expand my work in the future,” Mr. Bashford said.
His passion and interest in the visual side of life started at a very young age.
“When I was in primary school, we would be told to draw and paint and the boys would laugh when we were told to draw flowers, but I loved drawing and painting them.
“I have always been interested in visual things or the visual side of life I suppose expressed through my artwork. I supposed God has gifted me with this and I just want to express my talent through my work. Not every day I do art but I would like to make a difference in my life and to others’ lives,” he added.
Despite being his own boss, Mr. Bashford dedicates his time and energy in making sure that he is satisfied with a day’s work.
“And also because being an artist is my fulltime job, I make sure I do the hours inside the studio because I have to meet deadlines and people who have commissioned artwork, need their paintings received on time.”
He said completing a big work would take a couple of weeks but it all depended on his mood.
Asked what he meant by this, Mr. Bashford said: “If I am doing a refined work, it could take longer, but if am doing a work that’s more abstract, I can do it at the same time, and if I don’t like it, I can paint over it.”
He draws inspiration from what he sees and things that capture his eyes.
Mr. Bashford said it was not only about taking photographs, it was also about experiencing life and the places he goes to.
“From where I live in Christchurch, I do a lot of fishing. So yeah, a lot of information is gathered in the photographs I take so that I can transfer them into paintings and carvings.
“But at the same time, it’s just not the photographs, it’s experiencing the places, so like this trip I’ve done here to Samoa, I have taken a lot of photos in the villages, things about village life, life in Apia and basically capturing things that I can add to my new series of work once I get back to New Zealand,” Mr. Bashford said.
To keep him focused on what he does, he listens to soft music or sometimes he just prefers silence.
He exhibits his artwork at the P.G. gallery in Christchurch and a few other galleries in New Zealand.
“I haven’t had a show organized for overseas, except for 2012 here in Samoa. Shows are in progress for overseas and I look to exhibit in Australia but that’ll take a couple of years.”
Not only does Mr. Bashford love his work, but seeing the world through his artwork tells a story that people sometimes fail to appreciate.