Ashley L. Schick makes works on paper and artists’ books. The daughter of a biology teacher and an electrical engineer, her work mixes the biological and the industrial. Ms. Schick is a Visual Arts faculty member at the Lovett School, currently teaching in the Upper School. She completed her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts, minoring in Packaging Science, at the University of Florida. While pursuing her MFA in Printmaking from SCAD-Atlanta, she worked as the lead printer and constructor for Kiki Smith’s artist book Color Noise. After graduating, she co-founded Straw Hat Press, a fine art printshop. She has taught many art workshops for students of all ages from children to adults, most recently in collaboration with the High Museum of Art, Georgia Tech, SCAD, and as the Studio Program Director for the non-profit One Love Generation (2013-2015). In 2014, she was selected to be a part of the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s High Potential Diverse Leaders program. Ms. Schick was also an artist’s assistant to sculptor Brian Dettmer and a resident in the Creatives Project’s Studio Residency Program (2011-2013). She has completed residencies at Haystack in Maine, the UF Paris Research Center in France, and at the Skopelos Foundation in Greece. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in multiple private and university collections including Vanderbilt, University of Florida, and Baylor. Her artist’s books have been featured in 500 Paper Objects from Lark Books and 1000 Artists’ Books: Exploring the Book as Art from Quarry Books. She currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.
Of what is this house composed, if not of the sun?
A small rustle in the treetops: the deer pause to look up at the (wandering) stars.
In a time of transition, feeling on a different world, I create a poetic ode to our celestial neighbors. New astronomic knowledge swirls around us this year. New Horizons flew past dwarf planet Pluto. Dawn circles Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt. The Kepler Space Telescope sighted Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. Voyager continues its travels along the edge of interstellar space. These nine pieces are inspired by these historically captivating objects in our solar system, glimmering in the sky, ruled by mythological figures or noxious gasses. Once, ancient gods—some Titans—guarded and governed the skies. Now scientists seek out knowledge in tremendous amounts of data, studying the fine details in images and sensor readings. Each portrait reflects the true-to-life colors of the subject planet. The pieces gesture towards the scale and difference between the planets. The melodies of the cosmic spheres play on these paper surfaces.
“A Small Rustle”
A collection of cut paper pieces and watercolor drawings. Vivid colors depict deer captured in uneasy and perilous positions. The cut-paper backgrounds, white-on-white scenes of cut paper industry or woods, are distant and detached landscapes, like frozen memories or dreams. The details of the backgrounds, along with elements of the deerforms themselves, are perceptible through the shadows cast by their layered bas-relief construction.
These deer are leaping, staggering, trying, falling—acting out expressions of danger and anxiety. They are an inside space, a psychological landscape. Transformations and experimentations on such spindly legs. They are fantastical organic tottering forms. A struggle, a balance, a collection of parts.
Each background a dream, a memory, a frozen ice pond falling through space. Desaturated context, fading away in the intensity of the moment. Cells and tectonic plates breaking apart, ice on the surface of a river, thunder cracks, cloud chamber bubbles.
Folded limbs and delicate stomachs sometimes revealed. Disembodied objects. The colors are bright, like laughter in the face of terror. The hush of pointed hooves, coughing far away, as if across a theater. Unnerve me with your eye, tender tendons, edges and organs. Predators looking over my shoulder. Be ready to lick the surface of the machinery in the distance. The backgrounds freeze and thaw. A deer licks the sky, reaching to bite, bitten by sharp teeth sliding fast over ice cubes melting under thorns in soft flesh ripping open star forms connecting unseen nodes burning out. White blanching photograms but in color. Shape, shadow, pattern.
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