Jamie Ashforth

Jamie Ashforth


I am in new territory. I intentionally position myself in unknown circumstances to encounter heightened embodied experiences of discovery. The body registers this impact: when surprised, there can be a short, sharp inhale, lungs expand quickly, eyes widen, mouth opens, and everything pauses momentarily. My practice is therefore process-led and material-responsive, where I am perpetually out of my comfort zone and charting a new course. Experimental approaches to print, photography, text and installation serve to archive this unpredictable experience of reorientation. Often teetering on the edge of clarity and obscurity, this work expresses an in-between space where protective layers incubate periods of flux. Change is a hazy state.
I see touch as a form of navigation through this process: a dialogue between the senses, thought, emotion, and physical sensation. Event-based practice is a new part of how I unpack the way both tactile and ephemeral stimuli evoke embodied response. My impulse is to index events materially yet moving from object-oriented making towards temporal experiences that leave no visual trace, disrupts that form of memory recall. Instead, the work lives in the body and I’m compelled to excavate that for others to encounter. I therefore pull the viewer into the work to cultivate active participation. Recontextualizing elements from the land, I build interior habitats with natural foraged debris. I initiate new ways of connecting by inviting collaborative experiences across multiple time zones: working on-site outdoors, we bury, then unearth, muddied fabric, or lay down in wild spaces. Blurring the line between near and far, and inside and outside, disrupts how the spaces we inhabit impact us sensorially. This serves to map the liminal nature of place and belonging.


Course: ma arts process

Year: 2021

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Photography: Seán Daly