THOMAS ASCOTT - THE ASTRAL WOODS
May 4th - 26th, 2018
“Inspiration, for me, is just my accumulated experiences, things I’ve seen, heard, touched and felt through my life, jumbled about in my mind and abused by time until they show up on a piece of paper. I would love to point to a sketchbook of ordered images that would tell this story, but, as often as not, the images are spit out on scraps of envelopes near a computer or a convenient napkin ringed with coffee.”
Thomas Ascott’s paintings don’t just take place in the forest. They take place in the Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee where he grew up. The songbirds and salamanders, rhododendron leaves and lichen-covered boulders all come from those memories.
The Astral Woods focuses once again on this place, but this time growing more exact and more detailed, with locations that are sometimes surprisingly specific. The Little Pigeon River, or Chimneys Picnic Grounds. If these places look a little different than they do in photos, it’s because his work impressively maintains a view through a lens of wonder and childhood imagination, using characters that are inspired by combined traits and characteristics of his own daughters, created to help build a bridge between adult problems and childhood wonder.
Thomas’ themes and moments can be deeply personal. With The Astrals Woods however, always shares these experiences with a universal sense of awe, reminding us of a time tackling life’s challenges meant scrambling over rocks in the middle of streams and exploring caves and trails, along the Tennessee-North Carolina border.