Shane Wheatcroft is an artist from Colchester in Essex, now based in Sittingbourne, Kent. For most of his career, he’s worked as a painter and screen printer, but in the last few years, Wheatcroft has focused exclusively on collage and assemblage. The source material for his collages comes from an increasingly large collection of vintage magazines, old books, stamps, and any interesting bits of paper ephemera the artist can find.
“My ideas tend to be led by the materials I find, so I’ll start with an image, and randomly add other images until an idea starts to emerge, adding more pieces, paint, printing, found objects etc. to reinforce the final concept. Often, the initial image won’t feature in the final piece, but it’s been invaluable as a starting point.
In my recent series of portraits, I’ve tried to create scenes of drama within the face of the portrait subject. Often the subject is an eyewitness to the scene, or the drama represents a memory or an incident in the subject’s mind. The single eye motif is a way to connect the portrait with the scene, aesthetically and emotionally, but also represents the surveillance culture we live in. I’ve always been interested in juxtaposing the glamorous with the mundane in my work.
My 3D pieces often start with a single image from a book or magazine, which I’ll cut into pieces and reconstruct to create the basis of a 3D diorama within the face of the portrait.” – Shane Wheatcroft, 2022
Wheatcroft’s influences come from a variety of sources, from music, current affairs, plays, films and life experiences. Artistically, he draws upon Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Cindy Sherman and Bridget Riley, amongst many others, but it was discovering John Stezaker’s work that encouraged him to begin working with collage. His work has been exhibited at Below 65 Gallery, Maidstone, Playhouse Theatre, London and Wooden Box Gallery, Ramsgate.