Basil Blackshaw was born in Glengormley, Co Antrim in 1932. He studied at Methodist College Belfast and then went to the Belfast College of Art. When graduating, he was awarded a Council for Encouragement of Music and Arts Scholarship to study in Paris. Since then, he has lived and worked in Co. Antrim.
Blackshaw’s work is well known by the use of distinctive colours and the loose application of paint, often domintated by his passions in life such as horses, dogs and Ireland. He is also well known as a fine portrait artist of the figure, which includes subjects such as Archbishops George Simms and Armstrong, Brian Friel and Michael Longley. Basil’s work is colour sensitive with particularly unusual viewpoints and proportions which highlight his exceptional technical skill.
In 1995, in order to honor his work, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland organized a display of his work in various galleries across Northern Ireland, Ireland and the USA.