My work is inspired by mechanisms of communication and interconnection. Systems of wires, tubes, pins, and boxes – the infrastructure of a city – hide in plain sight. Throughout the urban landscape, graceful compositions of banal elements like telephone poles and utility boxes are concealed by the inattention that surrounds practical objects.
The Survey Shadows series, including both cut paper and prints, looks at infrastructure as a metaphor for our social and psychological connections. Sometimes playful, sometimes serious, these portraits translate actual objects into compositions that remind me of particular social or emotional situations. The configurations I draw from, based on municipal equipment originally installed haphazardly, have individual elements – wires, handles, boxes, tags, and other bits –working together as a system, holding and maintaining a larger whole, toggling between their role as an individual and as a group. In this way, these configurations represent and reinterpret my remembered structures of relationships and the emotional states within them.
The On the Farm series studies the varied natural textures and decaying industrial structures at the Goat Farm Arts Center, an artist community and former machinery mill in the heart of Atlanta. While Survey Shadows centers on the relationships between people and communities, On the Farm shifts focus to the buildings and creatures that surround me at my studio. Cut paper, used in both the On the Farm and Survey Shadows series, is a slow and iterative process that allows me to contemplate my surroundings and to build an environment piece by piece.
When I work, I seek to capture the small and overlooked moments of our everyday life. I hope to help people notice the objects that share their world, so that they can appreciate what makes their world possible.
Ashley L. Schick makes works on paper and artists’ books. The daughter of a biology teacher and an electrical engineer, her work focuses on the proximity of urban and pastoral environments, particularly observing the abstract forms and compositions found in industrial infrastructure and debris. In an undergraduate quest to learn more about artists’ books, she stumbled upon printmaking, a discipline which captivated and inspired her. The combination of chemistry, process, and artistry activated her love of science, cooking, and art. The philosophy of printmaking continues to influence her drawings, cut papers, and bookforms.
After graduating with a Master of Fine Art in Printmaking, Ms. Schick co-founded Straw Hat Press, a fine art publishing and contract printshop in Atlanta, GA, with Laura Cleary and Shaun McCallum. She also works as an artist’s assistant to sculptor Brian Dettmer, initially through his grant from MOCA-GA’s Working Artist Project. From the fall of 2011 to the fall of 2013, Ms. Schick has been selected to be a part of the Creatives Project’s Artist-In-Studio Residency Program.
Additionally, Ms. Schick completed residencies at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine and at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Greece. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.
The pieces in these loosely interconnected series depict sites of exchange or transition that are both practical and graceful. The images are idealized renderings of banal urban locations. In some, systems of wires, tubes, pins, and boxes that catch my attention in travels around the city create compositions out of mechanisms of communication and industry.
In others, the pastoral landscapes from the farm-within-the-city encourage me to study the varied textures that surface when the natural meets the man-made. Each image-portrait comes from a reflection on these spaces, an iterative practice of building up layers of paper to bring the subject to light.