Scissors, double-sided tape, and a self-healing cutting mat are at the core of my practice. I find these three simple tools to be incredibly powerful in the creation of my art. Nevertheless, I love to add dimension to my work by incorporating different mediums, my favorite of which is encaustic wax. I also play with different formats, from zine-making to 3D assemblage. Experimentation is a key driver of my collage work.
Experimentation not only guides my practice but sparks my inspiration. Every piece begins from a place of curiosity: I have a question that only images can answer. The themes I most often explore are beauty, death, the complexity of humanity, loneliness, and laughter. My collages are puzzles I solve by finding images from disparate sources that sing to each other.
Ashley Rainge-Shields is a nonprofit professional by day and an emerging artist by night. She is a self-taught analog collage artist and zine maker. Despite being a lifelong lover of collage, Ashley did not begin her foray into art until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. She quickly learned that the act of using images from a variety of sources to create something completely new was not only fun, but a therapeutic exercise. What began as an occasional way to release her anxieties has now blossomed into a serious practice. Ashley started to hone her craft at the beginning of 2022 by teaching herself collage fundamentals and experimenting with different mediums, including encaustic wax and epoxy resin. Since beginning her journey, her work has appeared in an exhibition at the Jepson Center for the Arts and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Braided Magazine.
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