301 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA 01915
October 12-November 8
My work consistently explores the extension of time, memory, space, sound, and meditative qualities. Something that falls within that entire realm of thinking is that of breath. Inhale and exhale. With inhalation, you are physically and mentally accepting something inside you- thoughts, oxygen, etc. When you exhale, it is a memory of the inhale. There is some resemblance, albeit a different form. These “Exhales” as I’m calling them, are not just a plain white wood panel as they appear in daylight. As the sun sets, and the day exhales, the panels will begin to emit a blue glow- the aftermath of the day’s light and energy. As the evening and night draws on, the glow will subside, much as an exhale.
(During the daylight, the “Archives” will be visible, but at night with lights off, the “Exhales” will be visible.)
Ashleigh Johns creates environments that correspond to the spaces she previously transposed two-dimensionally, shifting from paintings that reflect a sense of time, memory, and space to installations built of light, video, and sound. This transition from two-dimensional work to installation work stems from a desire formed out of necessity following the diagnosis of a demyelinating neurological disease.
Similar to her paintings and two-dimensional pieces, light and color continue to command consideration in my installations. Johns introduced sound into their installation work as a mode of enveloping and grounding the viewer within the space. In taking control of that temporal space by playing with the suspension of time, she invokes the senses to immerse the viewer in a phenomenological experience beyond thought.
Though loosely based on places from her own memory and experiences, her use of ambiguous sound and image allow for installations that are widely accessible to all. This also invites the viewer to apply their own experience of memory by appealing to the senses physically, constructing a metaphysical memory space from the physical installation.