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“Children hold nothing back—living somewhat feral days. There are heights of wonder, depths of terror. They are fully themselves, but what if I slowly discovered I am not who I thought I would be as a woman, as a mother? Everyday mishaps feel jarring. Noise threatens to unglue. Baking rarely occurs. I am terrified of being used up, of losing myself, of not actually knowing what coherent adult thoughts feel or sound like anymore. Capturing the collision between childhood and adult expectations illuminates a dim path through the Sisyphean mess. Perspective charges the horizon: maybe not in that exact second, maybe a year later. These are deeply personal days, rooted in this particular place, this season; yet, these are also moments of tension and joy.”
Ashleigh Coleman was born in the mountains of Virginia, reared in South Carolina, and for the last decade has lived in rural Mississippi. Through her photography, she is looking for her way home, searching for joy in chaos.
Her work has been exhibited across the United States, including solo shows at the Fischer Galleries in Jackson, MS, the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and the Claire Elizabeth Gallery in New Orleans. Her work has also been shown at the Universities of West Virginia, Southern Mississippi, Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Soho Gallery, and is currently part of the traveling exhibitions, Looking for Appalachia and A Yellow Rose Project. She was the 2020 South Arts State Fellow for Mississippi.