Within my work, I express the human form as abstracted figures to talk about the human condition in our contemporary world. A condition that I represent through ceramics as my main choice of medium. Using sculptural and functional architypes, I employ handbuilding techniques in which I envelop African and African American culture and ceramic history into my forms. In many of my works I have adopted the appearance of my ancestral lineage’s Sweetgrass baskets. This form provides a connection between my ancestral culture and the need to preserve identity. The form is also used as a conduit to discuss the ideas of beauty, restriction, ownership and invisible labor of the Black community.
My pieces are a beautifully delicate balance between weighted subject matters and beauty as a visual aesthetic. They are a quite reflection of spaces that are imposed upon us and the spaces that we select for ourselves. My work asks the we begin to redefine limitations and restrictions placed on people external our own uexperinces and begin to imagine a better future.
— Ashlyn Pope