Kelsey Ashe is a contemporary artist and writer whose aesthetic and prose draws from themes within Austral-Asian inter-cultural studies, constructed mythologies and ficto-critical narrative. Grounded in motifs of the Antipodean landscape, Ashe seeks to comprehend the hidden, mysterious, and deeply powerful sense of the sublime within landscape and our earthly and human relationship to it.
Ashe has a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD Art) which directs a depth of knowledge into contemplative works that examine both harmonious and difficult moments of cultural collision. In the age of the ‘Archival turn’ Ashe delves into allegorical, historical and mythological narratives, to subvert, intervene or disrupt the colonial archive.
Ashe surveys cultural identity drawn from her Celtic convict and migratory ancestry and from the Austral-Asian basin she calls home - (the vast geographical region that sweeps from Polynesia to Aotearoa (New Zealand) across the land mass of Tasmania and Australia to Asia and Japan).
Exploring the universal symbology of cultures, both ancient and modern, Ashe seeks resonances from previous era’s; sensing traces of stories or beliefs from place, to perceive perceptions or concerns for contemporary culture. Ashe’s practice-led research has traversed print and illustration, textiles and cloth, photography and film, performance and painting, with each new idea finding its unique expression of form.
Dr. Catriona McAra, Curator at Leeds Art University UK writes; 'Ashe is something of a sorceress, conjuring within the realm of the international feminist-surrealist revival. Her practice has a powerful, consciousness raising ability; its tendrils are far-reaching, yet the work remains deeply rooted in an antipodean, postcolonial context. Ashe could be said to story-tell through what Michelle Williams Gamaker terms “fictional activism” (2018), a critique and illuminating recasting of traditional actors.' (McAra, 2021)
"My creative works are responses to stories or mythologies that intrigue me…usually because of a hidden, esoteric element and often with a historical/contemporary or East/West dichotomy. For example the constructed Exotic; where multiple layers of myth, story and culture have dwelled in one landscape or place, transitioning and interacting over time, has been a central concern. I am drawn to human expressions of the universal mysteries in graphic forms and patterns, favouring semiotic readings over literal or formal ones. The mystery of life on both a cosmic and human scale delights and fascinates me and my practice-led production follows this intrigue at will…" (Kelsey Ashe, 2019)
Dr. Kelsey Ashe has Exhibited Nationally and Internationally, including at the iconic Sedona Arts Centre in Arizona USA, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh UK, Site: Brooklyn Gallery New York USA, Barrett Art Centre New York USA, the WA Maritime Museum Fremantle AUS and the National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne AUS.