John Renshaw

About: John Renshaw: Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of Chester. Formerly Head of Fine Art at the university, he has also served as a visiting tutor at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of Textiles & Fashion (Drawing) and at the Royal Academy Schools, London (Painting). In April 2003, he was an invited visiting artist at Plattsburgh State University, New York.

Selected Exhibitions:

Northern Young Contemporaries Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1965/1969/1970.

Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. Manchester City Art Gallery, 1966/76/77/78/79/80/97

Joint winner; Stowells Trophy Painting Prize 1970-71, Federation of British Artists Galleries, London 1971.

Stowells Exhibition (past winners) Royal Academy of Arts Diploma Galleries, London 1979

New Grafton Gallery, Old Bond Street, London, 1981-85 “Artists of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

New Grafton Gallery, Old Bond Street, London, 1982 – 20th Century English Painting & Drawing.

Mixed Exhibitions. Mercury Gallery, Cork Street, London 1981-86.

CXXXV x V – 135 works by 5 artists: Five Northern Artists. Stockport Art Gallery. 1985.

Royal Institute of British Watercolour Painters, London. 1988

New English Art Club, London.1992

Lynne Stern Associates, Dover Street, London: mixed shows: 1991/1992/1993

Cheshire Art in Tuscany/ Palazzo D’Arnolfo, San Giovani Valdarno/ Provincia di Arrezzo, Italy. October 1993.

Cygnet Fine Art, Toronto, Canada. – Mixed Exhibition – July 1995.

Seven for Seven – Masterclass ‘ Group Show – Gallery 7, Hong Kong 1995.

Summer Exhibition – Gallery 7, Hong Kong 1996

Chichester Open Art Exhibition – 1998 /99 /2000

Department of Fine Art, University of Chester: Exhibition: Alvarno College, Milwaukee, USA, 2002

Royal Academy of Arts, London:  Summer Exhibition, 1992/93/94/96/99/01/02

‘Anthology: John Renshaw – Recent Paintings’ – ‘Ligne Roset’, Manchester 2004. curated by ‘Comme Ca Art’, Manchester.

Transactions: An Experimental Exchange: Joint Exhibition: Daniel Boetker-Smith  (Photography) John Renshaw (Paintings): Grosvenor Museum, Chester: 18.11.06 – 21.1.07.

‘Negotiated Positions’ – ‘Repeat Repeat’- an International two-day conference and exhibition. University of Chester. 2007 (catalogue entry 2 images and accompanying text: ISBN 978-1-905929-21-4 / 9-781905-929214):

Kurt Schwitters in England – Authenticity, Reproduction, Simulation July 10 – 11, 2009  – Conference & Exhibition at University of Chester in conjunction with the Littoral Arts Trust


Exhibition of drawings selected from the Museum collection: Grosvenor Museum, Chester.10.9.05 – 6.11.05. Accompanying Catalogue: Renshaw J. ‘Drawing: Looking and Thinking. Marks and Meaning’.  Chester Academic Press  2005.ISBN 1-902275-76-4.

Selected Conference Papers / Published work

‘ On the issue of teaching drawing and painting: the search for a personal visual language’. National Society for Education in Art & Design: Annual Conference. Forum Hotel, London. 3rd – 5th November 1995.

October 1997 – Visit to South Africa in connection with ‘Arts Education ‘ initiatives. Consolidation of links between Chester College, Cheshire Education Services and Soweto College. Lecture / Seminar presentation (J. Renshaw & Dr. P Harrop) at one day Conference – “Redress, Access, Equity “ – Transforming Arts Education in South Africa -Johannesburg Art Gallery 2 -9 – 97.

‘The Search for Meaning through Materials, Process and the construction of Personal Narratives’: presented at – ‘Context – Locating and Developing Practice ‘: One Day Symposium organised by the North West Textile Forum October 2001: Chester College of Higher Education

Conference presentation / workshop: ‘The Original Creative Principle ‘. delivered at: the National Society for Art and Design Education Annual Conference – ‘Creativity in Art and Design Education’ – at College of York St. John, University of Leeds. 5th. – 7th. April 2002. Related paper published: ‘The Original Creative principle’ in the International Journal of Art and Design Education: Volume 21. Number 3 2002. Special Drawing Issue. pp. 303 – 310.

Conference presentation / Drawing Workshop: delivered at a Symposium: ‘Enhancing Creative Thinking in Science and Engineering’ – hosted by The U.K. Centre for Materials Education and The LTSN Generic Centre: May 2002, Armourers Hall, London. Supporting material published:

Invited Visiting Artist – including public lecture: ‘On Painting’ – part of Visiting Artists Series, Plattsburgh State University of New York: April 2003.

John Renshaw, Daniel Boetker-Smith: Transactions- Painting & Photography: an experimental exchange, Grosvenor Museum, Chester 18th November 2006 – 21st January 2007. – included an accompanying illustrated catalogue with contributing essay by Tim Dunbar, Manchester Metropolitan University: ISBN 1- 905929 -14 -5 / ISBN 978-1- 905929-14 -6

Contribution to H.E.A. Art, Design, Media Subject Centre funded project – ‘Linking Disciplinary Research to Teaching in Art, Design and Media. NW project for ADM – HEA:  Case Studies in support of the Support for New Academic Staff (SNAS) Strand 3 projects 2007.


Community Mural Projects


1992 – 2003: Director of Community Mural Projects. These included: Mural for Refuge Assurance connected with commercial / social & spiritual life of Chester City (in collaboration with Chester City Council) involving school pupils & teachers, business, and University of Chester.  Mural connected to the regeneration of local site (The Old Port, Chester) – Chester City Council. Mural for Chester City 2000 Heritage & Architecture, (sponsors Chester City Council & Marks & Spencer plc.) Coordinator – student commissions for Chester Cathedral visitor’s centre and student commission for Debenhams, Chester.


Paintings provide opportunities for both planned action and improvisation in response to an increasingly varied range of visual experiences, both actual and remembered. This process, modified largely by intuition, also acknowledges the significant role of the medium in the generation of possibilities. Paintings and drawings may stand as metaphors or analogies for experience but also function as catalysts, stimulating memories or unexpected associations. Such issues arise not only during the process of creating the work, but also during periods of reflection following its completion.

At this point, the paintings exist not only as visual propositions in themselves but may then serve as signifiers confirming further correspondences with the visible world and prompting a collection of related drawings and photographs. This process continues to raise some interesting questions concerning relationships between alternative forms of visual representation, and (to quote a favorite comment by the American painter Philip Guston)… ‘it goes on’*

(* Cited in Ashton D -‘Yes but, A Critical Study of Philip Guston. Viking Press. New York.1976. p.186)