Interview: Ashley Fisher–Silhouette Show Opens May 10 at the Fold Gallery
Ashley Fisher’s delicate paper silhouettes reflect her fascination with Victorian memento mori and hair jewelery, flora and fauna, beautiful women of the silent film era, Art Deco, taxidermy, and silhouette portraits. Using a combination of computer and and handwork, she creates seductive pieces that are more dark than whimsical, and retain a delicate feminine sense and sensibility. Her work will on exhibition at the Fold Gallery, above the Last Book Store through June 8, with an artist’s opening reception May 10, 7pm to 10pm.
When did you begin doing silhouettes?
I began experimenting with paper art in college. Early on, I used fabric, feathers, lace, and decorative papers on top of pen drawings to create odd little characters. They had a sort of paper doll feel to them, but with texture and dimension. I began to move away from that early style and progressed into silhouette style works in 2011. I experimented with creating characters and stories using graphic shapes with intricate detail, using only black and white paper, and sometimes solid color paper. After working with that style, I incorporated more 3D paper sculpture elements into my works, to add more depth, which is the style I am currently using.
What drew you to this art form?
I grew up loving to draw on paper, playing with my Shirley Temple paper dolls, and making origami. I was drawn to this art form after finding enjoyment in creating my fabric and paper characters. I love the idea of being able to create images from cutting out little sections of paper here and there until something delicate and intricate is revealed. It’s using positive and negative space to create a window into a different realm. I think of the works I create as puzzles, as I often make images from one continuous piece of connected paper.
What is your process?
I begin each new work by taking time to process and think about the piece of art I want to create. It often helps when there is a theme, and I think about it until an image pops into my head. I like to use antique and vintage frames that I find at flea markets, which I then make my art fit to specific frames. Sometimes I come up with an image first and then find the perfect frame to compliment it. Other times I look at a frame and an image suddenly appears, one that will only work with that particular frame. Once I have visualized the image, I sketch out my idea in my sketchbook. I then move on to cleaning up my drawing digitally, where I can print out my design and use it as a template. Then the fun part begins. I use a blade to carefully cut everything by hand, one piece at a time, with patience and precision.
What is your art background?
I had always been drawn to art since I was a kid, so it was a natural choice to study art in college. I received a BFA in Entertainment Arts/Animation and Illustration from California State University, Fullerton. Initially, I declared myself an animation major, but quickly found out I wanted to do more than just animation. About half way through my studies, my interests led me to seek out more of a fine arts influence, so I picked up illustration as a second major. It really helped me to find a balance between two fields of art that I love, which I now use in my animation career and my gallery work.
Ashley Fisher and Dani Vinokurov, Curious Worlds opening night reception, May 10, 2014 for 7pm to 10pm at the Fold Gallery, 453 South Spring Street, Mezzanine 7 Los Angeles, CA 90013.