Editorial: In the Studio with Amy Ash
On December 11th we visited Amy Ash in her Canterbury Street studio located in Uptown, Saint John’s historic Walker Building. Amy Ash is a contemporary Canadian artist, educator and curator. Through playful interventions, visual experimentation and collaborative projects, Amy explores the themes of memory, learning and wonder. Her artwork takes form by combining illustration, photography, collage and installation.
An exhibition of Amy’s work is on view at Visitors until January 11th, 2020. The exhibition is titled Bodies of Work, and it spans four collections of mixed media.
Photography and Styling: Emily Saab & KC Wilcox
In Bodies of Work, Amy invites us to reflect on collective memory. Threading together found imagery with shapes performed by bodies at work, she presents us with visual narratives that transform the familiar ways of remembering –photographic evidence and muscle memory – allowing us to create new connections between them.
70s gold sequin disco jumpsuit – Donna Karen cowhide belt – PUMA platform sneakers
Ghosting the World, cyanotype and acrylic on St. Armand paper (mounted on canvas), 6”x 6”, 2019
Amy’s work invites us to slip through time. Remembering is essential to the imagination. When using our imaginations, regions of the brain interact, recalling elements of the past in order to envision the future. In the picture plane, Amy introduces images of the past interacting with movement and colour. She presents us with a window to look through and consider the shape of our shared future.
40s handmade dress – Anne-Sophie Vallée earrings – 90s ALDO sandals
Evidence of handiwork is ever present around Amy’s studio. Vintage hand-embroidered fabrics, ink drawings of hands in all sizes, and half a dozen plaster cast sculptures of her own hands have their place in the artist’s space. A motif rendered and repeated through various mediums connects Amy to generations of work made by the hands of women. Muscle memory allows us to recall the motions, like completing a task without thinking.
70s lambskin coat – 60s leather beret
Between the Gaps, cyanotype and acrylic on paper (mounted on board), 8” x 8”, 2019
All sensation, cyanotype and copper mounted on canvas, 6” x 6”, 2019
Amy explores the usage of copper in her work as a conductor of meaning, both as a shape-memory alloy and a component of human biological make-up.
50s handmade taffeta dress – iridescent strapy stilettos – earrings Amy's own
Amy and her pup, Bana.
Limited edition Amy Ash tote bags available at Visitors.
View the current exhibition at Visitors: Bodies of Work — Amy Ash