Andrew Haslett was born in Greenock, Scotland in 1981 and grew up in Ballyblack, Newtownards, where he began drawing and sketching at a young age. He graduated with a BA in Fine and Applied Art from the University of Ulster in 2004, specialising in oil paintings that explored the relationship between light and shadow.
During this time Andrew became heavily influenced by the style, imagery and techniques of classical and renaissance painting, in particular the work of Caravaggio, Jusepe de Ribera, Zurbaran and other artists of the baroque movement who had a particular affinity for dramatic chiaroscuro and tenebrism (the use of light against darkness with subtle intermediate shading).
Inspired by some of these ideas and techniques, Haslett sets out to underline the humanity of classical characters and figures from mythology, using a bold and naturalistic visual vocabulary that avails of tenebrist (or ‘shadowist’) techniques. The stark tensions between illumination and darkness in these paintings hold the viewer rapt, each figure emerging from shadow to be held in intense spotlight and focus.