Artist Ashley M. Freeby, reflects on the traditions of her family as methods for healing. Born to a Black farmer and a Pennsylvania Dutch quilt maker, Freeby reflects on the crafts her family members mastered. A family divided by race, Freeby uses language, constructs fabric works, and a series of schematic drawings to collaborate with members of her family and join them in one collective space. This new body of work challenges Freeby to connect with family members living or deceased to develop and learn the crafts they left behind.
Freeby anchors her interdisciplinary, labor intensive practice in a curiosity for truth telling. She is inspired by unexpected back to Earth monuments and often contemplates how we keep the dead out of the realm of the living. Thinking about the world below the surface her work uses minimalist aesthetics with poetic language to investigate site. She recently has been exploring how aerial views can be used as a form to spark memory. Exploring the layers of Earth from the surface down or from above she is establishing methods to reconnect the dead with the living.
Image: Ashley M. Freeby, Exploration of Grandma’s Quilt, 2018, quilt facing made by Katie E. Schadler (grandmother of artist)