About Mixed Media Artist : Ashleigh Dix
Self-taught mixed media artist Ashleigh Dix was born in Zimbabwe and schooled in South Africa where she worked in the domestic and commercial art sector after which she spent a few years travelling around the world before moving to London and finally settling in Kent.
In Ashleigh’s early work she explored the use of oil, acrylics and charcoal and for many years charcoal was her favoured medium seeing her produce large, very detailed wildlife and figurative works. Her charcoals have been exhibited in Liverpool, Winchester and London in the UK and Johannesburg, Kempton Park and Benoni in South Africa where she was also invited to exhibit at the Ekurhuleni National Fine Arts Awards.
In 2014 she put down her much loved charcoal and switched style and technique to completely reinvent herself as a mixed media collagist. Ashleigh’s contemporary mixed media works are mostly figurative and typically incorporate card, paper, paint, found objects, wax and varnish. She uses colour boldly in her tactile and distinctive work. Ashleigh draws inspiration from human experience and is interested in the subtle differences in expression and nuances of posture – encompassing social change and attitude.
In a world that has become driven and plasticized by consumption on one end and complicated by religious and political tensions on the other end, I look for the simple around me. Since moving my life to a more tranquil environment I discovered my hearts yearning for simple peace when it was finally satisfied in this new place. I feel freedom in the simple gestures of life which occur in a practical way amongst people who are simply going through their day responding to the popular things around them in a natural way. This response to the world around them and the popular is not the sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, low cost, mass produced, big business pop art where beings are just consumers driven by an insatiable desire to consume. This response is about something more solid where every day people get it right to live without being driven to consume as well as without being weighed down by the tensions of life which try to infringe upon on them.
I read the messages in their postures and movements. That is what I give to you. Manifestations of freedom and manifestations of attempts to escape the tension? Sometimes it’s the insignificant in between moments that I capture where the posture manifests simple peace. The enjoyed moments where the everyday person can interact with the world around them in such a way that simply ‘being’ adds value to the very moment being lived. It’s not pop culture where the value was added by what was consumed and gained materially.
My motive is to reflect to the world that value is added by the manner of being. It’s an attitude. It’s a choice. It’s an action. It’s not stagnant. It’s not beaten. It has energy and hope. It has direction. My intention is to show you the world around yourself that you miss when you become so engrossed either in consuming, on one end of the spectrum, or in the complicated tensions of society around you on the other end of the spectrum. My motive is to give you moments of freedom as you view something else. The simple. The casual. The free.
I don’t plan to shock and I don’t plan a revolution. I give you that which has always been. That which will not revolve. The shopping. The walking. The travelling. The sitting. The being together. Just being! Being free! No more photographic representations in charcoal. Just the pure emotions of feeling the moments of everyday life. I did not reinvent my style. My experience of simple peace reinvented me. The subtle differences in expression and nuances of posture fascinate me as they are manifestations of the extent to which tensions and consumerism have been eluded. I find that mixed media and bold colour use are the clearest means for me to capture this emotion of life with authenticity.
Mixed Media Art Exhibitions
- Parallax Art Fair : 2016 – London, UK
- Landmark Autumn Art Fair : 2016 – London, UK
- South Quay : 2016 – Whitstable, UK
- Lilford Studio : 2016 – Folkestone, UK
- Art in the Park : 2016 – Canterbury, UK
- Project Space 103 : 2016 – Newquay, UK
Charcoal Art Exhibitions
- Vestry House Museum – London, UK
- Marwell – Winchester, UK
- NEWA – Liverpool – UK
- Square Gallery – Benoni, SA
- Coen Scholtz Centre – Kempton Park, SA
- Zoo Lake – Johannesburg, SA