Ashley Lyon uses clay material to create objects and images to construct a dialectical relationship between space, viewer, image, and form. Instead of using life-casts, she meticulously hand builds all the components of her work, addressing levels of realism in an attempt to transcend traditional figuration. Lyon visually illuminates the simultaneity of the mother experience, acknowledging a breathtaking, beautiful, confusing, and grueling presence all at once. Frequently returning to the term “matrescense” defined as: the birth of a mother. This term, coined by Alexandra Sacks, presents a psychological and physical transition much like that found in the time of adolescence in which one can commonly feel ambivalence or other extremely contradictory emotions simultaneously. It also speaks to how the reality of motherhood often doesn’t measure up to our expectations, either internally envisaged or externally imposed through established societal norms.
Lyon (b.1983 in Palm Springs, CA) lives and works in Newburgh, NY. She received a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Washington and an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from the Virginia Commonwealth University. Lyon has been awarded residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the European Ceramic WorkCentre and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. She received Elizabeth Greenshields Grants in 2011 and 2014. Her work has been exhibited at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE; Hunter College, New York, NY; SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY; The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH; Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY and Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, NY. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at New Jersey City University.