Ashley Harris (she/her) earned her MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2021. Before attending RISD, she received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. Ashley’s cultural and professional background in both design and fine arts are instrumental to her studio practice, and play as the foundation for how she navigates the world.
Ashley’s studio practice derives from an investigation of perspective and perception in relation to the body in the spaces she occupies. This investigation begins with a general question about the various ways space is, and can be, defined. Her practice lies within the relationship between her body, collective bodies, and architectural parameters set around bodies. Through material investigations and questions about space, perspective and perception, Ashley takes note that the human scale is the precursor of the spaces which constantly encompass people and their experiences. Her studio practice includes sculptural glass, wax, and string pieces, performance work, and writing.
She most recently completed her thesis which argues that there is a need to invest in the conceptual and physical understanding of the surface levels people encounter. She proposes that investigating the surface level does not mean people have reached into the territory of depth, rather, it means there has been time taken to understand and appreciate that which is in front of people. This understanding and appreciation without preconceived expectations is what changes surface level from something that is often met with negativity and criticism into something that is quite informative and powerful. Her thesis has served as the basis for her current ongoing investigations for how she intends to continue to research and create work in her studio practice.