Neil Shawcross was born in Kearseley, Lancashire in 1940. He attended Bolton College of Art between 1958-60. After a brief period of part-time teaching in Lancaster and at Morcambe Grammar School, he came to Belfast in 1962 as a part-time lecturer at the Colllege of Art. He has remained in Ulster ever since, and teaches foundation studies at the Art and Design College. Shawcross`s gentle childlike approach has won him many admirers, and his work has been influential on many of his past students. He became an associate of the Royal Ulster Academy in 1975 and an Academician in 1977 and has been awarded several Gold Medals. Shawcross was commissioned by the Ulster Museum for a portrait of the novelist Francis Stuart in 1978. In 1979 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of Alderman David Cook for the series of Lord Mayors in Belfast City Hall. He has designed stained glass for the Ulster Museum and for St Colman`s Church, Lambeg.
His work is represented in a number of private and corporate collections and his new works are eagerly sought after by collectors both in Ireland and abroad.