Light sculptor Sarah Ashe, Edgewater Gallery’s featured artist of the month, is gaining recognition for her insightful and profound reaction through art to Tropical Storm Irene. With pieces varying from two-dimensional to sculptural, Sarah conveys her deep respect for not only the communities of Vermont who rallied together, but also the raw power of the typically trickling streams.
The two-dimensional mixed media pieces hung on the wall have many different qualities and stories deemed important to the artist. Antique maps of Southern Vermont (mainly Brattleboro) from her father bring the disaster home, and fierce paintings of water show the rapid and forceful rivers tearing through the area. Some of her other work symbolizes how the community rises up to the challenge of rebuilding and recovering.
With the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Tropical Storm Irene, Edgewater Gallery looks at the presence of art representative of the challenges faced by the storm’s victims, and their unwavering strength. Opposite her Irene series, Ashe displays a model convoy made of several floats inspired by Mardi Gras parades, and the deep pain experienced by victims, while at the same time showing their intense resilience. A former New Orleans resident herself, Ashe was deeply hurt by the tragedy. After spending a month volunteering to help survivors, she felt inspired to use materials found in the wreckage, pieces of “trash”, to display her reactions and truly bring the disaster to new life.
The convoy is lead by a “Gator” that crawls through the city, consuming roads and leveling houses. As the convoy reaches its end, a chicken lays an egg, as if to symbolize the start of the next steps toward progress and restoration. Each float (there are seven in all) displays a different challenge in, not only the city’s, but the country’s turmoil through the calamity.
Most of Sarah’s work consists of traditional Japanese lamps, themed off of seeds and objects found in nature. The texture of the paper, as well as the light’s unique way of glowing through the material, give her work an ethereal, organic quality. The August show is an interesting new turn for her, and a source of pride for Edgewater Gallery.
Featured Artist of the Month: Sarah Ashe is on view through August 31; opening celebration from 5-7pm Friday, August 10, during Middlebury Arts Walk. For more information call 802.458.0098, email email@example.com, or visit www.edgewatergallery-vt.com.