Shelley Ashkowski studied at Cardiff Metropolitan University and has a BA(Hons) and PGCE Secondary Art & Design. With nearly 20 years of experience in the classroom Shelley has developed a broad range of skills and knowledge in art. In more recent years Shelley has refined the focus for her own work and has left the classroom to devote more time to her own artistic endeavours. Shelley enjoys observing everyday life in urban settings so people and places have become a key feature of much of her work. "My work is a commentary on the modern world. The urban landscape presents a conflicting scene: beautiful and ugly; quiet and chaotic; a place of happiness and sadness. Through my work I seek to observe the turbulent relationship between man and the world he created." Shelley's work would probably be placed within the photorealism genre but her work takes on influences from a range of artistic styles including Pop Art, Documentary Art and 17th Century Dutch painting.
Shelley's work celebrates the medium of drawing and she strives to push this to its limits. Her preferred drawing medium is the humble Bic Biro which can be seen in many of her city-themed works. "I have always enjoyed using biro pens in an expressive manner but in more recent years I started to see how it could be manipulated with more finesse and this is the path I have continued to pursue. The biro produces a surprising range of tones and textures as well as providing high levels of contrast and vibrance; it is also more challenging to work with as ink can blot and one cannot reverse mistakes, but this perhaps adds to its appeal".
Shelley has exhibited her work in local establishments and has a keen following on social media. She is a loyal member of her local community and has supported a range of charities and other causes through donation of art works.