ashley dahlke

instagram: @ashdahlke

About the artist.
My work looks at the relationships we have with the objects we surround ourselves with. Specifically, how the things we accumulate become portals that connect us to people and places. The textural experiences we have are the easiest for us to recall, however, the more we think about a specific memory, the more it gradually changes becoming less grounded in its original reality. I create conglomerations of materials, drawings, and paintings that mimic these realities and falsehoods.

Who or what are your artistic influences and how have they impacted you or your work?
A few artists that I hold near and dear to my heart are Lee Bontecou, Joan Mitchell, Judy Pfaff, and Jessica Stockholder. Whenever I find myself stuck with a piece I’m currently making, I always end up looking through their work. Individually their works are all quite different and have always taught me something new however, overall they have influenced the intensity in which I make my work.    

How does your material or choice of medium impact your work?
I find myself wandering around thrift stores, estate sales, fabric stores, antique stores, ext. and during this time I end up taking photos obsessively. The unintentional grouping of objects that happens within these spaces has always been interesting and sometimes hilarious to me. A child’s brightly colored toy will be next to a broken toaster or a shoe will be wedged between old VCRs and TVs. The photos I take in these spaces and the contrast in texture and form influences the materials I feel are appropriate for the pieces I am currently working on.

Do you have any “rituals” that you have to do before, after, or during your art making to keep you creating or put you in the mood to create work?
I typically work best working late into the night in my studio when everyone is quiet and already in bed. If I have a piece that I’m having particular trouble with I will take a photo of it before I leave the studio look at it in bed before I go to sleep. Although this might seem a little obsessive, looking at the piece out of the context of my studio sometimes gives me a clue to what it’s missing or what the next step should be. It doesn’t always work but that extra time with the piece normally gives me the first thing I need to do when I make it to the studio the following day. I also think while sleeping my mind is figuring out solutions.