Twenty years ago, London-based architects Caruso St John were selected to design a new gallery for Walsall after winning a high profile international competition. Since opening in 2000, the resulting 37-metre-high building, clad in terrocotta tiles and punctuated by large windows, has been a source of inspiration for artists.
In June 2016, The New Art Gallery Walsall invited applications from artists based in the West Midlands for residency proposals in response to the theme: The Building as Material’. Following this open all, artist Chloe Ashley has been selected to develop a new body of work from the Gallery’s 1st Floor Artists’ Studio, taking inspiration from the forms and materials that identify the building.
Ashley works with analogue photography and her practice is often driven by a response to site. She will use her residency to photographically respond to the Gallery architecture, utilising a 35mm film camera to produce silver gelatin prints, for which she will design a variety of experimental display structures. These structures will utilise the raw materials of The New Art Gallery Walsall building (concrete, leather, Douglas fir, walnut, terracotta, stainless steel) and reference the signature forms and views that identify the Gallery architecture.
Chloe Ashley studied Fine Art at Loughborough University from 2010-13. She will begin a two-year Masters programme in Photography at the Royal College of Art, London, in 2017. Ashley lives in Lichfield and works from her darkroom space at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.