ARTIST BIO

Ashley Roth is a mixed media fiber artist from Staunton, Virginia. She is graduating with a BFA in Studio Art and a minor in Book Arts. Ashley has recently attended the Umbau School of Architecture Vienna Studio 16 and has shown in recent exhibits Coping and Bound and Unbound III.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Awkwardness and vulnerability
through continuous public display and criticism
this and these inhibiting, defeating a person’s ability
to be able to function to the fullest extent.
Disabling.

Through literal and metaphorical encoding, I imbue original poetry into my physical works to address misinterpretations and assumptions surrounding gender, sexuality, mental illness, and ability in American society. Because of my dedication to social activism, particularly from the feminist standpoint, my process demands research-based practice as well as hands-on experience. I engage with the craft movement and its intersections with the history of feminism and the women’s movement by working heavily with techniques and materials involving intensive labor, such as crocheting, felting, and weaving to highlight traditional views on the role of women in society. Fiber art is connected to the complex history of women’s and gender studies as well as the debate of fine art versus craft. Through my craft I actively move expressions of feminism and Intersectionality from the private, traditionally feminine sphere, to the public sphere by placing myself within the feminist discourse through work that aims to encourage others to engage in the conversation as well. It is important to me that my work is both informative for and serviceable to the counteraction of the deeply embedded cultural acceptance of misguided views on gender inequality, mental illness, and ability in our society.

Advocating for gender and sexual equality and raising awareness of mental illness is central to my work. I recently became interested in the Rorschach inkblot test because of how it bridged my interests in feminism and mental health. I am currently working on a project tentatively named Testing the Limits, which is modeled off of the Rorschach inkblot test. The difference is that instead of creating traditional inkblots, I had ten female participants including myself make “inkblots” based on those of the Rorschach test with their vulvas. The next stage of this process will be to conduct an association survey with volunteers from the public. All survey responses will be recorded and collected with the new inkblots and compiled into an original artist book that will succeed the performance as a separate work itself. The aim of this work is to comment on the stigmas attached to female genitalia, sex, and mental health in American social culture by constructing original inkblots from female vulvas and conducting association surveys in the public using the substituted prints.

Sexism: your choice to choke on, spit out, or swallow; Silver wire 2015
Sexism, your choice
Coping series: large wearable piece; Felt, copper wire 2016
Coping series
Coping series: two bracelets and two rings; Copper sheet, copper wire, felt 2015
Coping series jewelry
Miniature coptic-bound book earrings; Copper, brass, silver, paper, waxed thread, beads 2015
Miniature coptic-bound book earrings
Vulva Print; Monoprint; 2016
Vulva Print

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