ARTIST: ASHLEY COOPER
DEAR DIARY, DURING THE PANDEMIC, I…
Bearing witness to someone else’s pain and emotional spiral can cause us to consider our own potential pitfalls. Whether big or small, witnessing the pitfalls of others often challenges us to make better choices to prevent ourselves from spiralling. Living through life’s highs and lows can feel like a roller coaster ride. What remains constant is the importance of remembering to continue moving forward, working towards goals, and chasing fulfilment.
Many may argue that this chase is easier said than done, but I have come to find in those moments of downward spiral, there is a pivot, and during this, you can either decide to work harder or release the goal. I have never given up, but I recognise that breaks are essential to recharge and gain balance to tackle the bad that comes with the good on the journey to achieving what you most want.
Being a student of both psychology and art has influenced my creative approach for my first solo exhibition Shades of Blue, and has brought me to this moment in time, where I now formally introduce this new body of work. Dear Diary, During the Pandemic, I… is a manifestation of this reckoning. During the pandemic, I’ve observed people fall into depression, take up new practices, learn more about religion and spirituality, start new businesses, and become different individuals all around. Using acrylic and metallic acrylic paint, this collection was inspired by personal journal entries in 2020 – an era that made or broke people, demanded change, and taught many of us to seek balance amidst the chaos.
From this exhibition, I hope viewers are inspired to continue moving forward, conceptualizing, and creating work that someone in the world can resonate with.
Ashley Cooper (b.1992) is a mixed media artist born and based in Nassau, Bahamas. Having studied Psychology and Fine Art, Cooper’s artwork aims to evoke strong feelings that create deep, meaningful connections between the artist and viewer. Using acrylic, charcoal, patterns and found objects, her themes highlight the beauty of humanity, and our connection with the natural world. By exploring the human experience, Cooper’s pieces aim to inspire the individual towards inner growth and self-actualisation.
At an early age, Cooper realised her love for mixed media in second grade. While studying at St. Anne’s School, she played with puppet-making, colouring, and drawing. Her practice gradually developed into her own experimentations of collage using natural found objects like sea glass, coconut bark, wood, string and plants. Presently, Cooper combines her early skills of drawing and collaging with newer mediums, such as acrylic paint, to create her own unique style in mixed media.
Cooper is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in psychology and Art at The University of The Bahamas. In addition, she has interned at Popop Studios and Retail Residency at Baha Mar. So far, her works have been exhibited at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Hillside House, The Current at Baha Mar, Popop Studios, Traveller’s Rest, The Central Bank Art Gallery of The Bahamas, and The University of The Bahamas.
Dear Diary, During the Pandemic, I…, Cooper’s second solo show, will take place on June 10th, 2021 at Sixty2Sixty Art Gallery, 5pm to 8pm EST.