Mollie Balshaw is an artist whose work 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. They are 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 works 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, Balshaw finds them-self stuck in this whirlwind of tropes, questioning where a painter like them fits within the history of painting. As such, the work attempts to be a mediator within this divide.
Mollie Balshaw studied BA Fine Art (First Class Honours) at the University of Salford from 2016 – 2019. They are also Co-director of the artist-led initiative and curatorial collective Short Supply, who recently exhibited at the West Bund Art & Design Center in Shanghai. In 2018 Balshaw was highly commended in the Visual Arts category at The 10th Global Undergraduate Awards, and in 2019 were awarded a 12-month Graduate Scholarship with the University of Salford and Castlefield Gallery, also being shortlisted for the Create Student Awards 2019 in the Art & Design category. Currently they are taking on a programme of alternative study with School of the Damned Class of 2020.