Every month as a part of our Third Friday open house, we welcome a new local 2D artist to showcase their work in our East Gallery. This month, our gallery is adorned with the amazing paintings of artist Ash Forrest. Read more about her show below.
Ash Forrest is an artist currently based in St Louis who works in several different mediums, including painting, photography and printmaking. Of these, her biggest passion lies in large abstract paintings, drawing inspiration from maps, landscapes and nostalgia.
“The connection between each us and our relationship with this world is inseparable. We shape these places through our actions and intentions, just as our interaction with them gives rise to our constantly evolving forms. This kind of change can be slow, methodically and considered – taking place over generations and decades at a time. It can also be sudden and swift, as urgent and intense as a sweeping gust of wind or all encompassing wave, brought up from the depths of the ocean to fall on dry land once more. The contrast between these things is not a battle between binary values but an evolving journey that can be charted over the course of a more fluid spectrum. It is neither controllable or exceptional, but constant and effervescent. It is this continually unfolding and still-being-written story that I want to capture in my art and in this series.
“In this series, I begin often with a watered down wash of acrylic where I can let the paint flow as freely as my thoughts. It is at this stage when the lighter and softer shades are most apparent and readily communicated. This allows for the fashioning of a foundation for each scene before steadily building up to more conscious application of thicker layers and concentrated segments where I can bring further focus to each unique type of landscape. At this stage, a certain rebelliousness and revolutionary spirit begins to shine through where I feel a strong need to escape and move beyond the limits of the confines brought about by the set shapes of my own creation. This enables for a more experimental approach to let specks and splatters of paint fall where feels most appropriate to the overall look and feel that I have in mind. Not entirely chaotic, but neither too tightly controlled. The process of each piece is as significant as the eventual output. From letting the initial layers soak up their water, as I guide the paint across the canvas – guiding them, as they dry out before finally settling into place. The steady shift from the abstract washes to the focused layers. Allowing the palette knife to give more definite structure and precise patterns to compliment and supplement the preceding shape. Layers to reflect the variety of terrains, climates and even cultures that inhabit them.
“These paintings are scraps of maps, fragments of memories, pieces of my heart and snapshots of a moment’s instant of what I see and sense of the world that surrounds us. They are my translation of what that means. It is a sequence of colors on canvas but also – if only for a moment in your imagination, if you’ll let it – something more.”
Invented Topography will be on display at Third Degree through Wednesday, September 18. See more of Ash’s work on her website, or stop by to visit! We’re open Monday-Saturday 10:00a-5:00p & Sunday 11:00a-4:00p.