Image: ‘Land of a thousand Myths’, 2023. (Detail). Wax etched drawings printed as Unique State Screen-Print on Canvas. Photoluminscent Paste (Glows in the Dark) Indigo, Chlorophyll, Henna and Saffron Botanical inks, wax. Mounted on wood. 650cmW x 204cmH x 4cmD.
SPECTRUM PROJECT SPACE
Fringe World Perth
Curated by Dr. Harrison See
Artists: Desmond Mah, Lea Taylor, Leonie Mansbridge, Matthew McApline, Marcia Espinosa, Patricia Amorim, Yvette Dunn-Moses, Shanti Gelmi, Sue Leeming, Kelsey Ashe.
Kelsey Ashe - Artist Statement
“…..In dreams, landscapes and cultures of past and present collapse into one. It is both the deepest future and the deepest past at once. Time is fluid in all directions…I fly over snaking streams of a Tasmanian gully creek, then suddenly plunge a waterfall and land in tropical forests…lagoons of Tahiti. But the high green mountains of snow are looming! Polynesia, Aotearoa, Japan, Australia in Gondwana…All one.
Fluid, sublime and instant…The stars dance for me in clusters, it is a marvel! I hover out with the planets….Then wake here, Fremantle, Western Australia…How did I get here? Where am I going?....”
What constitutes a contemporary ‘Australian’ cross-cultural identity is surveyed through my own Celtic convict and migratory ancestry and from the Austral-Asian basin I call ‘home’; the vast land mass of Australia to Tasmania, across to Polynesia and Aotearoa (New Zealand) and to Japan, where family ties have left deep imprints.
I also include my imagined, albeit broken and fragmented, ties to the lands of my DNA by mythically transposing Scotland, Ireland and the Faroe Islands into this voyage of cross-cultural influence.
Cultural hybridity creates an exchange point in which some things can be lost and traumatically broken, but so too, can new rich and wonderous things be formed.
I draw specifically on Japanese aesthetic philosophy and print making techniques, and to the concept of ‘deep-time’ to add further complexity and/or disruption to a ‘place’ that is
both a dystopia and utopia at once.