My artwork is most commonly influenced by my surroundings. I currently live in both Philadelphia and Baltimore, so a lot of my work includes row houses and cityscapes. My work also deals with femininity, either subliminally or overtly, and what it means to be a woman in both historical and contemporary context.
I treat much of my art as a love letter to the long and rich history of fibers and textile work. Traditionally, spinning, weaving, embroidery, or sewing have been regarded as “women’s work,” and has never been elevated above a simple craft. The debate between what classifies a piece as art vs. craft is something that is always at the back of my mind while I’m working. It pushes me to create something that blurs the distinction between the two and communicates the idea that these traditionally feminine household practices can be included in the art world.
The materials I use are a large part of my creative process. Often before I begin sketching or planning my next project, I shop or look through my materials and allow what I have to fuel my idea. Because of this, I prefer to work almost exclusively with reclaimed or recycled materials. Not knowing what might be available for me to use can be a great creative challenge and lead to some wonderful surprises. Much of what I make is very tactile and I encourage people to touch and interact with my work.
Carlin Ash was born in Philadelphia and is currently a student at Maryland Institute College of Art working on her BFA in illustration and fibers. Her body of work ranges from fibers based works such as weaving, embroidery and sewn collage, to illustration, design, and bookmaking. Her work has been shown most recently in The 2018 Foundations Show, as well as an exhibition at Oliver Street Studios (2018). She has been presented awards like the Whitemarsh Lions Club Fine Arts Award (2017), as well as the PAEP Scholastic Young Artist Silver Key Award (2017). Common themes in her work include urban inspired landscapes, based on living in both Philadelphia and Baltimore, as well as femininity and the female experience.