Born and raised in Suriname, Grace Ashruf was constantly inspired to draw and paint. The embrace of art existed throughout her life, which accompanied Ashruf as she moved to Guatemala in 1995, and Curaçao in 1997. Ashruf lives and works in Aruba with her husband since1999.
During her time living in each of these countries, Ashruf studied full time in the established art schools of these nations. The distinctive cultural elements she observed have left an impact on her work, and affect the inspirations she draws from. In addition to her formal training, Ashruf completed several apprenticeships under masters in her craft; further developing her style and aesthetic.
Ashruf’s work heavily illustrates the Caribbean atmosphere, capturing the beauty of the island environment, and the colors, rhythms, and textures that represent the community and people she has been exposed to. These thematic elements weave a connective tapestry throughout her work, visually revealing her personal journey across the many cultures on her path.
With her work exhibited in both solo and group settings, Ashruf has made a presence in multiple cities, both national and international. Her individual pieces have also become part of corporate collections on display in several of Aruba’s banks and businesses. Galleries that have previously exhibited Ashruf work include Access Art Gallery, Cas di Cultura, l’America Art Gallery, The Westin Art Gallery and more.
Constantly developing new techniques and expand her visual vocabulary, Ashruf actively explores her craft to enhance her creative knowledge. She wishes to communicate to her audience without words; through a focus on blending abstraction, and using symbolism and universal forms. Her work is shaped by her global experiences as a life long traveler, and her work is highly textural with evocative surfaces and multiple layers. Using a varying repertoire of tools and unconventional techniques, Ashruf’s manipulation of paint borders on sculpture— having developed a unique style of reduction to achieve her desired aesthetic. Ashruf’s work is abstract and emotional, yet the still Caribbean horizons and life filled water are immediately recognizable; eventually blending the colors and details of island life with personal experiences and history.