IN THE STUDIO: Kerr Ashmore

"Each aspect of my practice, whether the written word, musical composition, mark making or painting drives the other…always in a kind of perpetual motion”.

On 28th October we were delighted to host a viewing event for the public, where Kerr was also in attendance. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to view such an immense collection of work with the very person who created it. We think we can speak for all of our guests when we say it was an amazing evening! 

Missed out on our fabulous Kerr Ashmore viewing event? Look no further, we've compiled our favourite highlights from the evening. 

Since Kerr's newest collection opened in the gallery on 7th October, we were counting down the days to the highly anticipated viewing event on 28th October. With over 200 respondents to the event announcement, and a flood of calls from our overseas clients, it was clear to see our excitement was certainly shared. 

With the champagne on ice, the celebrations kicked off from 5pm where we welcomed visitors into the gallery for a first hand look at the collection. Kerr entered the gallery with her usual aura of humble brilliance, enthusiastic to tell us more about the intricate behind-the-scenes creation of her powerful pieces. 

All eyes were on the artist, who's understated style and modest attitude won the hearts of our guests just as quickly as her work did. Kerr's gentle take on life, finding love and compassion in the elements around her is almost hypnotising, and just one of the reasons we love working with her. 

Kerr's incredible connection with each of her individual pieces is clear to see, as she spoke about each of them with such an outpouring of passion. She shared some stanzas she had written while composing the visual representation of the work; a method she uses to develop and communicate her ideas. 

Some of Kerr's studies form part of the collection which is a rare opportunity to see the different stages Kerr journey's through to achieve her final pieces. It was also in interesting educational prompt. A common misconception regarding abstract work is that it is easy, perhaps thoughtless, created with expressive strokes and little else. We were awe-stricken as Kerr described her careful thought process and explained her journey from thought to study to final piece. Kerr's devoted dedication to keeping her work as raw and true to herself as possible truly drives the work, and it was clear to see simply in the way she narrated her creative process for us at the event.


In the Studio with Kerr Ashmore

Ahead of our most recent exhibition, Kerr Ashmore’s ‘Of Love & Light’, we met with the artist to learn more about her process, what drives her practice, and how her incredible creative mind works. Kerr’s new body of work is an absolutely breathtaking collection of powerful and emotive paintings. Some of Kerr’s studies form part of the collection, which is a true privilege to view a piece of artwork in its rawest form as the artist works with the media to explore how she will express her narrative in its visual form. 


Thanks for speaking with us today Kerr, we’re so excited to see you in your element. What can you tell us about your studio?

“I have two spaces…my remote studio in the southern Spanish mountains is huge and in total contrast, my space here in the north east of England is not. But both are my havens…where the music is loud and emotions run free.”

Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to work?

“Motivation is rarely something I struggle with. I feel it comes from a compulsion to create. Each aspect of my practice, whether the written word, musical composition, mark making or painting drives the other…always in a kind of perpetual motion.” 

So it’s a lot of things that feed into the work we have in the gallery?

 “Absolutely, I never stop creating.”

Do you often draw inspiration from music? 


If you could choose one song from one album to reflect your work, what would it be, and why?

“If you asked me to choose 1000 songs I’d still find that question too difficult to answer. Music is absolutely fundamental. A given. I have such eclectic taste and my preferred choice of music can change from moment to moment. From Beethoven and Mozart, to Jazz, Punk, New Wave, right through to Opera and the occasional show tune. I actually process sound a little differently to most … Music is my safe place and the most creative place for me to be.”

Your paintings seem to be highly emotive, can you talk us through your painting process?

 “My process more often than not begins with music…the music takes me on an internal journey, which then often manifests itself into narrative or poetry. At the beginning of a painting session the music is then revisited and inspires colour and form. From there I completely let go and allow myself certain freedoms to travel through the narrative, the journey. Whether I’m working on a landscape or an abstract, it’s the emotion that steers me through.”

Would you say there is a sense of hope in your work?

“I do hope so! Painting and the creative process itself is, for me, a hopeful pursuit. Yes, it can sometimes begin with angst or urgency, but somewhere along the way I feel myself move towards something enlightening. Ultimately towards a sense of calm, of hope.” 

Tell us about the roller boots.

“Ah…the roller boots…let’s just say that’s between me, you and Xanadu!”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

“There are 3…

“You can do ANYTHING!” - My Dad

“GET ON WITH IT!” - My Mam

 “If you want to view paradise

Simply look around and view it

Anything you want to, do it

Want to change the world?

There's nothing to it…

There is no life I know

To compare with pure imagination

Living there, you'll be free

If you truly wish to be.” - Gene Wilder, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Who inspires you?

“My Dad. AKA St. George.”

If you could own one piece of artwork what would it be?

“Ooh, another difficult one to answer. It would need to be a collection – Rothko’s Seagram Murals – when I’m with them I feel so tiny but oh so alive. I find them wonderfully experiential and incredibly moving.” 

What are you currently working on, and what’s next?

“Right now I’m working on a collection of large scale, more abstract pieces inspired by my visual journals. An increasingly important part of my practice and in fact my every day, is journaling. It began, not as a practice of choice but one of personal necessity, a progressive and continuous process of understanding and managing my inner landscape and my unconscious responses to the outside world. It’s my effort to both accept and reconnect to the outside after many years of solitude. And what comes next? That depends on where the music takes me.”


Kerr's incredible collection remains in the gallery for only a short period of time, visit us any time Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm to see the stunning work up close. Be sure to reserve your favourite piece before it's gone.

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