My practice makes use of the capabilities of painting within an expanded field, exploring the painting as an object rather than an image, and challenging restrictive structures often associated with painting practice. I am as interested in deconstruction as reconstruction, questioning the very concept of the structures and surfaces on which paintings exist, and in which painting as a subject exists.
The pieces delve into means of portraying a non-binary position in painting, finding grounds to visually explore gender outside of gender through abstraction. Painting is caught up in this push and pull between femininity and masculinity, and what these mean iconically. Identifying as non-binary, I find myself stuck in this whirlwind of tropes, questioning where a painter like me fits amongst the history of painting. As such, my work attempts to be a mediator within this divide.
Mollie Balshaw is based at Islington Mill in Salford, and is a Gallery Assistant at AIR Gallery in Altrincham. They studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at The University of Salford from 2016 - 2019. In 2018 they were highly commended in the Visual Arts category at The 10th Global Undergraduate Awards. On completion of their study they were awarded a 12-month Graduate Scholarship with The University of Salford and Castlefield Gallery, and were also shortlisted for the Create Student Awards 2019 in the Art & Design category. Exhibitions include the Neo Art Prize 2019 at Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Contemporary Venice ITSLIQUID International Art Show at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi and duo show Material Concerns at PAPER Gallery in Manchester. Currently, they are undertaking a year of study with School Of The Damned Class of 2020.
Balshaw is also Co-Director of Short Supply, an artist-led curatorial collective established for the purpose of generating creative opportunities and facilitating and curating collaborative events specifically for artists in the North West. Exhibitions include MADE IT 2019 at Paradise Works, Saoirse Lewis: Methods of Observing at CASS ART Manchester and Queer Contemporaries supported by Superbia and Manchester Pride at AIR Gallery, Altrincham.