Different Layers of the Same Water
City Gallery: March 12 – April 30, 2021
Different Layers of the Same Water is comprised of selections from three new bodies of work which speak to the fluidity of matter and perception. Different Layers of the Same Water refers to the slippery boundaries between sensation and memory, thought and feeling, mind and body.
Mettle uses copper as both a key material in the work and allegory—its material qualities becoming symbolic of resilience. Copper is a super-conductor of electricity, and the standard by which all other conductivity is measured. Within my practice it has become a conductor of meaning. Copper is a memory shape alloy. It will always ‘remember’ its original form, and, when pressurized, will invariably revert to its original shape. Copper is also within our biological make-up, closely linked to memory dysfunction. When threatened by the elements, copper will produce a patina, or verdigris. This greenish tarnish acts as a weather buffer to preserve the integrity of the copper below its surface—an exquisite coping mechanism. By adding copper sulphate crystals both to the metal’s surface and the paint’s pigment, the crystals continue to grow and morph as they respond to the climate, a metaphor for personal transformation brought on by external forces.
Learnscapes is an ongoing celebration of learning as an act of care. Tracing the overlaps in personal and collective meaning-making, this series focuses on the creative process rather than the outcome. This work aims to playfully highlight the instances of belonging, wonder, and growth, that occur through experiential learning. All imagery from this series is rooted in photographic documentation of participants (with permission) in my workshops and collaborative projects throughout the years.
Touching Visions is an exploration of the body as an archive of sensation, experience, and action. The work is created through repetitive labour-intensive and experiential means, such as stitching, documenting performative actions, recording my body in plaster and my voice in looped improvised song. It marks the first time I have used my own image in my work.
I am grateful to ArtsNB for their generous support of this exhibition, through the Creation Grant program as well as the Career Development program. Thank you also to the Saint John Arts Centre; the communities who have welcomed me in to facilitate workshops; to Jennifer Nason, for mixing Touching Visions: Tidal Resonance; and to my family who helped me prepare, move, and install the works with care and patience. Finally, huge gratitude to my wife Alex Ash for helping with documentation, singing with me on Touching Visions: Tidal Resonance, and being a foundational source of support.
Amy Ash is an interdisciplinary artist engaged with collective care through processes of shared meaning-making. Her practice flows from curatorial projects and writing to teaching, socially engaged action, and hands-on making. Blurring the lines between disciplines, she traces connectivity through the intersections and overlaps between memory, learning, and wonder, to incite curiosity.
Amy has exhibited and curated programmes internationally, with projects commissioned by The National Gallery London (UK), Gerald Moore Gallery, (UK), The NB International Sculpture Symposium, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts (Winnipeg, Manitoba).
Of settler ancestry, she lives in Menahqesk/Menagoesg/Saint John, New Brunswick.
24 Touching Visions: Tidal Resonance (Audio Recording, featuring Alex Ash and Amy Ash, mixed by Jennifer Nason – Not For Sale)
This exhibit is supported by the New Brunswick Arts Board.