Ashley Normal

MFA ’15 Fine Arts Low-Residency

Making observations in the everyday, I find the bizarre and absurd in the familiar. This work explores the dualities of womanhood and the chasm that results from societal expectations and forces: mother/daughter/wife, breadwinner/caregiver, innocent/matriarch, wise/unknowing, delicate/strong, pure, and bleeding. 

This work communicates issues surrounding domesticity, womanhood, motherhood, unpaid labor, and other performative aspects of being female. Playing with materials, I make interventions and juxtapositions through assemblage, drawing, and painting; revealing what is lurking in plain sight. I connect with the Japanese ceramic method and philosophy of Kintsugi, which treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object and person. Rather than something to disguise, imperfections add to the allure, making it more beautiful for having been broken. 

I do this work to understand myself and what drives me as a caregiver. I want the viewer to examine my work and their own surroundings with a sense of curiosity. What is the evidence we leave behind? What is normal?


Ashley Normal received her MFA and BFA at MassArt and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Art Education Department. Her work was recently exhibited at Katzman Contemporary Projects, Dover, NH, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME, the Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, as well as the George Marshall Store Gallery, York, ME. Normal resides in Nashua, NH with her partner and children.