Artist Ashley V Blalock crochets enormous red doilies that she then installs in site-specific configurations ranging from galleries to stairwells to trees outside. Her ongoing project, Keeping Up Appearances, began in 2011 and has been installed at museums and gardens in Massachusetts, as well as at museums and galleries in New York, Washington, and California.
The artist describes the meaning behind Keeping Up Appearances: “Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale the [doilies] overtake the viewer and cover the walls… Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.”
Ashley V. Blalock was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She earned an MFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute, an MA in art history from the University of California Riverside, and a BA in painting from San Diego State University. She was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Vermont Studio Center. Her solo installation venues include the Nevada Museum of Art, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York, and the Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, and her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions at the Craft in America Center, Mingei International Museum, Arthouse at the Jones Center, and at the Los Angeles International Airport. Her work has been reviewed in the San Diego Union Tribune and by Fluent~Collaborative, and featured in Vogue Knitting Crochet and Interweave Crochet Magazine.
Ashley Blalock fuses craft and fine art to create objects and site-specific installations inspired by everyday artifacts from the female domestic sphere. She uses the meditative process of crochet to explore themes of discomfort and coping mechanisms used to provide solace from the stress and trauma of modern life.
Blalock is based in Southern California. She received a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in sculpture and art history. You can see more of her installation work on her website.