Palmyra Pilgrim


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Basma Ashworth’s paintings and textile art are the result of an eclectic mix of influences: the colours of her Kurdistan childhood, the sea, sky and landscapes of Cornwall where she now lives, and the staggering shapes and colours she sees under the microscope in her work as a scientist.

She focuses on the processes of painting, rather than on a finished image, letting each piece emerge from the marks she makes on the surface and the colours and textures she uses.

She sees this as representative of her two cultures – Kurdish and Cornish—apparently dissimilar, but with some striking similarities. The work is about being physically in one place with memory in another. Colour, the texture of light, translucency and line are her hallmarks.

“My work is influenced by memories of my childhood. I was born and brought up in the remote mountains of Kurdistan on the border between Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Now I live in West Penwith, where I am struck by the land, sea and skyscapes of this magical place.

“My background as a scientist is another influence. The highly visual shapes and the remarkable colours found in chemistry and microbiology, and even the textures of corroded metals all contribute to the way I paint.”