Basil Blackshaw was born in Northern Ireland in 1932 and studied in the Belfast College of Art from 1948 – 1951. In 1951 he was awarded a scholarship by the Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts to study in Paris.
He was initially acclaimed for his master of traditional approaches to painting. He continued to develop as an artist becoming most highly regarded for his loose gestural application of paint and a very distinctive and subtle use of colour. His paintings of horse racing and boxing made him particularly popular.
Basil’s painting are very often figurative in form, but with a non-naturalistic palette which re-balances the composition in an expressionist, even abstract way. His themes are very Irish and often rural, greyhounds, Irish Travellers and the landscape.