Ashley Thorpe was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1972 yet grew up in Devon, England. After studying Fine art / Film in Canterbury Ashley relocated to Manchester where he worked briefly for the BBC. After a number of years pursuing illustration in London and a brief sojourn in Athens,Greece as a comic artist, Ashley returned to his Devonshire roots in 2005, and focused all his energies upon creating a series of animated short films using neglected aspects of English mythology culled from his surroundings and tales told to him in his youth as inspiration.
“I’ve always been obsessed with monsters and ghosts and the gothic. That ‘darkness’ is an essential part of the fabric of British identity I think, it certainly is of mine. Stories were always important but painting has always been my first love, ever since I was a kid. The only reason I started to animate was purely through a desire to see my paintings move.”
The animations (all currently showing on FEARnet) – ‘Scayrecrow‘ (2008), ‘The Screaming Skull’ (2008) and ‘The Hairy Hands’ (2009) – have won numerous awards and reaped critical acclaim from periodicals such as Fangoria, Gorezone and Rue Morgue magazine. The films also led to Ashley becoming a regular artist and contributor for Fangoria magazine and in 2012 he was nominated for a Rondo award for his in depth interview with Hammer director Peter Sasdy. He is also the author of two plays for the Glass Eye PIx project ‘Tales From Beyond the Pale’ – ‘The Demon Huntsman’ and ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ (recently performed live in New York).
His illustrations have appeared in such horror periodicals as Little Shoppe of Horrors, Headpress and Fangoria Magazine – providing the covers for issues 305 (Amicus) and 307 (Alice Cooper).
Ashley is currently working on a new animation ‘Borley Rectory – The Most Haunted House in England’ aswell as scripting his first feature the Victorian gothic ‘Spring Heel Jack’.
Horror Art: Ashley Thorpe