Classical Heroes, Contemporary Hunters
A solo exhibition by Ashley Bird

Opening Night | Friday 2nd November 6pm-9pm 
Exhibition Runs 3rd November - 24th November
Gallery Hours 12pm-5pm Wednesday-Saturday

‘Ashley Bird examines the triggers of nostalgia through the use of the everyday. Impossible versions of the truth are replicated through repetition. Recognisable references to popular culture, like Star Wars means that Ashley’s work creates a statement about his generationmass production, repetition, and the disposable. But more interesting for me is the insight you get from the art about the artist. The work is personal considered and beautiful.’ – Adrian Doyle


ashley bird solo exhibition melbourne

Classical Heroes, Contemporary Hunters - Artist Statement
The core concept that influences my creative practice are the memory spaces that are specific times in the past that through the edited filter of nostalgia remain a location of yearning within personal history. The objects and images that make up this show continue to use toys and objects of play with a generational agency and link to me and my childhood experience as a kid in suburban Melbourne. This work in particular attempts to unpack ideas around modern and historic notions of masculinity and the tropes of design and colour that push what I argue is an out of date and antiquated concept of gender, and what contemporary marketing use to sell ‘toys of boys’ and ‘toys for girls’ that reinforce old fashioned gender roles. Masters of the Universe were one of the first toy brands that were created with over the top masculine body aesthetics that traded on the brutish warrior and hunter immortalized in the work of Frank Frazetta and films like Conan the Barbarian. As a counter point I have employed the busts of classical composers and the romance associated with their music as a softer historic version of masculinity. Together with modern devices of collection, hunting trophies and versions of classical figurative sculpture mashed up with contemporary toys, this work aims to find a balance between the physical attributes and enforced roles of modern men with an ever-present gentleness and dare I say un-masculine way of engaging in the modern world.

Artist Bio
Ashley D Bird is an interdisciplinary artist, lecture with the UTAS School of Creative Arts and a curator at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery in Tasmania. 
The focus of his practice and PhD research centres around nostalgic memory and object of play. Connections to toys specifically that hold within them emotional connections to the moments in the past. Yearning that then manifests a desire to collect and enshrine these relics to keep most moments in their memories from being lost

ashley bird sculpture fine art