| Ivan Eastwood
Of Polish and German descent, yet growing up in Liverpool in the 1960's, Ivan Eastwood was always drawn to the proliferation of plastic arts, theatre, literature and music circles that the declining port generated, most especially, the fusion between these seemingly disparate areas and the historical fabric, economics and politics of the city itself. His interest in how the miasma and detritus of modern urban living could have a creative and even beautiful visual language was brought into focus when he was taken to an exhibition as a child that prominently featured the works of German Dadaist and creator of 'Merz', Kurt Schwitters. The themes of 'implied history' of the found or altered object, persistance of memory and the isolationist and often melancholic nature of 'civilised' modern urban and even rural life continue to permeate much of his studio work today.
Ivan completed his undergraduate studies in Fine Art at North Staffs Polytechnic (Now Staffordshire University), shortly after which he moved to Bristol before undertaking his postgraduate studies, to help establish the fledgling 'Bristol Sculpture Shed' then on Gas Ferry Road and since absorbed into the studio space that is now Spike island. Having worked and taught in the U.S.A., Sweden and Germany, he continued to finance this period by occasional exhibitions and teaching spots at various institutions, playing in bands and ghost-writing the odd piece for the music and sports press. His post-graduate doctoral studies included research into the nature of the socio-economic and the historical/political use of twentieth century visual iconography and symbolism, concentrating on the inter-war period and artists such as Beckman, Hausmann, Grosz and Dix, and contrasting them with the later works of artists such as Rauschenberg, Appel (both of whom he has since met), Johns, Dine and Stella. He later completed a Higher Education PGCE at UWE.
Although originally trained as a sculptor, he currently also works in various new media, including digital images, sound and film though drawing remains central to all his work. He has also worked and continues to work as time allows on projects associated with the Labour Party and his beloved Liverpool Football Club and Arts projects for the successful 2008 City of Culture bid.
A couple of years ago while collaborating on the development of a website, Ivan was invited to submit a piece of work for the first 'International Miniature Digital Print portfolio' organised and hosted by the CFPR (Centre for Fine Print Research), producing a piece which, from beginning to final digital print only existed in the digital domain. Fascinated as much by the process as the actual results of this experience, he created a body of digital prints entitled '47' in initial response to a request for an exhibition from a friend who is a Dutch Gallery owner, themed on the loss of family members during the holocaust, and the problems of explaining the 'missing' relatives to his young daughter. Much of his work in all media gravitates around the idea of 'loss' and 'the personal pictorial and written representation of memory'.
Ivan Eastwood has works in private and public collections both in the UK, Sweden, Germany, France the Netherlands and the USA.