Ashley Garrels

Ashley Garrels is a visual artist and photographer based in Seattle, WA. Her work often explores the relationship between body and space, ideas of intimacy, and human interaction. She exists in a constant state of curiosity and is interested in the ways that we interact with our environment and with each other. Fascinated by the small, often seemingly mundane moments, she makes images based on how things felt. Emotion, color, and feeling are often what sparks inspiration and she usually finds the words or common thread somewhere along the line, later in the process. Ashley also creates through illustration, mixed media, and changing her hair color – a lot.

We Can Be Close

We Can Be Close explores the vital ideas of closeness, touch, and intimacy at a time when we must stay largely apart. As someone who identifies with a “touch” love language, Ashley’s fascination with closeness was heightened during the pandemic, like so many others. Through the slow and intentional process of medium format film, this series seeks to understand how changes in accessibility and proximity affect the ways in which we’re close to one another – whether it be with family members, roommates, lovers, best friends, or partners. No matter the relationship dynamic, we all know the beauty of the comfort and trust that’s built through closeness with other people.

How does this comfort manifest with those in our inner bubble? Is it different than before, pivoting and morphing into something new, or does it remain unchanged?

In this work, Ashley turns a tender and inquisitive eye on her subjects in a way that utilizes the body and form to express these feelings of togetherness and support.

To view more of Ashley Garrels’s work please visit their website.