Ashleigh Brady - Contemporary Afro-American Artist and Illustrator
Art that works to portray the collective, generational feelings of the Black-American diaspora as we come to understand what has led us to be who we are. An experiment in expressing concepts we all feel, but are unable to verbalize. An aesthetic challenge to collective alexithymia.
My artwork, since high school, has always had something to do with being a Black woman who was and is constantly confused with how my identity situates me within America.
Growing up, I was surrounded by whiteness. Therefore, I attributed whiteness with normalcy and worked for too long to assimilate to it. Once that failed, I fell into a purgatorial lull regarding what I was supposed to be and I turned to art to figure it out.
Black women and Black culture, the two subjects I ended up knowing the best, became the primary inspirations for my work. The normalization of Black women in the mainstream and the ability to express Black feelings in a complex and abstruse way became my ambition.
As a Dartmouth alumna who majored in Art History and minored in Studio Art and Geography, I've spent the past four years discovering the intersections between my concentrations. What I've learned is that art and the way we design are reflections of our culture's morals and politics.
The art and architecture of our environments that are seen as the most 'distinguished' reflecting and catering to hegemonic standards isn't a coincidence. When marginalized groups are introduced into the mainstream and are still seen as 'others,' we can understand its because our institutions encourage outdated, harmful concepts that need challenging.
It's an abstract idea, but art from the non-dominant can challenge the outdated. Artists, when given the chance, have the ability to become the architects of a socially aware environment.
It starts during construction. The artists are and create the blueprints.
2017 - 2021
Dartmouth College; Hanover, DE
2022 - 2024
Unapologetic Conversations: Hair and Nonconformity , The Delaware Contemporary
302 463 5564