Ashley Snook is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist and is currently a third-year PhD student in the Art and Visual Culture program at Western University in London, Ontario. In her practice, Snook examines interconnectivity between human and nonhuman animals, and vegetal/botanical life. Currently, her research revolves around the notion of animality, proposing a historically informed, post-human perspective regarding animality, with the intent to problematize a spectrum of human-centric, socio-cultural and scientific frameworks. Both her writing and studio practice are invested in exposing hegemonic forces that enabled rampant environmental degradation, and destructive human-animal relationships. Snook’s studio work aims to fuse conceptual separations through sculpture, installation and drawing.
Snook received her BFA from Nipissing University in 2014, following her MFA from OCAD University in 2016. She is a recipient of numerous awards from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS). Currently, Snook is also participating in the GardenShip & State project, curated by Jeff Thomas and Patrick Mahon, which will be on display at Museum London beginning September 2021.. Please visit her website.
Ashley Snook, VHD VHD, 2019
VHD VHD is an installation that explores the complexities of our interconnected existence by emphasizing the sensory elements of sight, sound, and smell, and encapsulating aspects of biophilic curiosity, while troubling the desire to retain positive energy.
Within the current epoch of the Anthropocene, VHD VHD explores how human and nonhuman species live within and without natural systems amongst, landscapes and spacescapes. This installation questions how one can obtain and maintain positive energy in a time of immense destruction. Here I contend that our human proximity to nature is known to have an affective impact on our wellbeing, given that being close to nature can counteract negativity and increase pleasant feelings. However, we need to ask, how do we hold, retain, and perhaps store positive energy on a depleting planet? This installation emphasizes the realities of human and nonhuman life, particularly the continuous cycle of life and death, while addressing the challenge to find inner peace during a time of ecological destruction.