Meet: Ashley Sheekey is an artist living and working in Brighton, UK. She studied Fine Art in Falmouth and Brighton, and in 2019, undertook a month long residency in west Wales. Her work has been included in various exhibitions across the UK.
Ashley Sheekey | Alex Foley | Jade Blackstock
"the viewer occupies the position of town planner and bystander at once"
"Caught between two-dimensional and three-dimensional planes, collage and observation, the viewer occupies the position of town planner and bystander at once. Fitting since Sheekey’s work explores the relationship between affect and locales, with a sensitive if purposeful command of line. Quotidian railings float in seemingly boundless space, as her work asks: how do we delineate places, if not by a physical boundary?” — @galesammi
"the visual language of railings and boundaries"
Working on: "At the moment I’m creating some quicker drawings to try and surprise myself. I tend to labour over my drawings for a long while, so it’s been good to challenge myself," Ashley told Plinth."Over the past few years, I’ve been learning to make ceramics, and during our many lockdowns I’ve had a lot more time to put into this. I’ve been a bit uncertain if, or how, this relates to my ongoing art practice, but I’m starting to feel excited by some sculptural possibilities - thinking about the visual language of railings and boundaries. There are some intriguing ideas in my head, but I’ll have to see if they can withstand the kiln!"
Meet: Alex Foley has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Oxford. It was during this degree they began painting as a means of coping with the stress of graduate life. A transatlantic transplant, they currently live in Hove, UK and work during the day in gender equality.
"a realism that momentarily tips the world off its axis"
"Alex Foley’s is a realism that momentarily tips the world off its axis. Glitches, whether thick daubs of paint or doubly-exposed faces, evoke personal and intuitive attempts to inhabit their subjects, rather than simply record them with the usual tools of verisimilitude. How is it that fish, which I have seen so often piled on ice for sale, can appear such curious bedfellows, tails submerged in murky water, as if the school took a wrong path and sprouted up through the kitchen sink?" — @galesammi
"“I've found myself really paring back my work during lockdown"
Working on: “I've found myself really paring back my work during lockdown," Alex told Plinth. "I'm currently working on a series of small-scale still lifes and portraits of friends on linen and wood.”
Meet: Jade Blackstock (B. 1993, Birmingham) is a UK-based, British Jamaican performance artist. Her work explores questions of the body and identity in relation to historical, cultural and personal events and experiences.
"there pulses an abiding sense of something lost"
“White paint, honey, twine rope, bowls, milk – incorporating materials that could belong to any time or place, Jade Blackstock’s performances approach a single story again and again: specific to our time, and yet just out of reach.
"The artist finds herself in situ as if for the first time; yet, little gestures (say, taking off a pair of shoes and placing them carefully in the grass) communicate a level of intimacy, both with her surroundings and her audience.
"Familiar and unfamiliar, there pulses an abiding sense of something lost or almost lost; something for which Blackstock’s rituals – tying up rope, pulling it taut, marking, smearing, dripping, or pouring - might become the apparatus for its recovery.
"By the end of a performance, sometimes the white boxes of a parking bay appear consecrated, and sometimes they are just plain white lines. The artist’s status has changed, often visibly with the marks and mess of molasses or mud – but ‘how’ it has shifted remains unclear.
"Instead, the world outside the performance’s sphere, in all its plurality and capriciousness, slides into view: demystified and worth reclaiming” — @galesammi
"the world outside the performance, in all its plurality and capriciousness, slides into view: demystified and worth reclaiming"
Working on: "At the moment, I am doing quite a bit of reading, collecting materials for future use, and working on some ideas for my performance for Glasgow BUZZCUT, which is a live art festival in Glasgow", Jade told Plinth. "The pandemic has really altered my approach to making work, but I am hoping that I could still keep elements of liveness in the stuff I make, despite the current challenges."