Ashley Slemming // Spoon Portraits // +15

February 17, 2016

 

Closing Reception at Arts Commons: March 24th, 6-7pm

Exhibition: February 5th through March 25th, 2016

 

With an uncanny curiosity towards the motives of collecting decorative and seemingly unnecessary items such as silver spoons, this exhibition questions the nature of object value and nostalgia. Souvenirs and collectibles seem to serve as an access point to the past, a doorway into our memories, and they accumulate to represent pieces of identity.

 

Through representing collectible silver spoons in a style of portraiture framed on a wall, I aim to elevate the object, and to hint at identities hidden within. Similar to a photograph, the spoon portraits suggest elements of remembrance, nostalgia, and curiosity about the past. The viewer is invited to create parallels between object and self, past and present, and to explore the act of collecting as a reflection of identity.

 

With a keen interest in vintage items and historical ideologies, my work often explores themes that echo the past, but are brought forward into contemporary contexts. I often find myself in a cycle of research and reflection; whether I am researching botanical illustration, cabinets of curiosities (Wunderkammer), or material culture, the historical element continues to find its way into my imagery and subject matter. Identity and exploration of the self is a common theme in my work as well. I find that curiosity about the past is often paralleled with curiosities about the present, and it is within these contexts that I find my work situates itself.

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