Artist Statement

 

John Curtin Gallery (2018)

The multi-media works within Imaginary aesthetic Territories merge personal narratives from the experience of the Australian landscape with an appreciation of the traditional arts and philosophy of Japan, whilst employing the non-verbal communication of dress and the semiotics of pattern with Surrealist dream-montage.

 

In its east-west imagining, the work can be located in the linear progression of the conventions of Western constructed exoticism in the form of Japonism, yet forges new fields of inquiry by contemplating the multi-cultural trans-orientalism evident in contemporary Australian culture and interrogates the ongoing fascination of the surrealist artists with the Exotic.

 

The works are informed by a consideration of the spatial arrangements and textile print designs within Japanese ukiyo-e, ‘pictures of the floating world’) and traditional aesthetic philosophies such as wabi-sabi (beauty of things imperfect)and yugen (subtley profound, mysterious grace).

 

The series also finds correlations between a perception of the open-ness (or nothingness) of unlimited space so ubiquitous in the Australian landscape with the equivalent ‘empty space of potentiality’ described by the Zen-Buddhist-Shinto tradition. The series of works can be considered contemporary bijin (beautiful women prints) and kacho-ga(bird and flower) prints which were a popular form of artistic expression in Edo Japan (1603-1868)

 

I find correlations between the space indicated in Japanese pictorial principles and the open space of the Australian environment, and combine this with conventions of constructed exoticism inherent in Japonism.

Reviews:

"The work in the gallery is a successful exhibiting of her [Kelsey Ashe's] creative concerns. The work as a whole makes interesting and timely propositions about Australian multiculturalism; transnational, transcultural and trans-oriental design tropes, styles, trends and ideas. The work is a significant achievement overall; a substantial and original contribution to the field of Australian art and design studies."

PhD Examiner Report 1

"The overwhelming impression of walking into the gallery was of a very poetic, bold and beautiful paintings and digital prints forming the creative outcomes…

the execution of the paintings and prints is remarkable. Candidates drawing ability and expertise in translating drawings into digital prints via digital programs is highly apparent, remarkable and extremely will executed."

PhD Examiner Report 2

Images from Top:

John Curtin Gallery, Artists Talk, ‘Imaginary Aesthetic Territories’, Kelsey Ashe, 2018.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Detail, ‘The Bridge (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Detail, ‘The Bridge (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Gallery View ‘Gothic Moth Coat’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Detail, ‘The Bridge (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. ‘Cruel Summer (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Detail, ‘Cruel Summer (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Detail, ‘The Bridge (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

Kelsey Ashe, 2018. Detail, ‘Antipodea (Folded)’, Mixed Media on Canvas.

John Curtin Gallery, Artists Talk, ‘Imaginary Aesthetic Territories’, Kelsey Ashe, 2018.

The creative works for 'Imaginary Aesthetic Territories' were submitted in part of a PhD Thesis requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy (Art), at Curtin University, along with a written thesis.