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Ash Coates

Ash Coates is an Artist and the creator of the Mycolinguistics animation project. He has completed a Bachelor degree with Honours in visual art and has had solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Ballarat, Edinburgh (Scotland), Kofu City (Japan). His animations have been screened at various galleries and festivals, including the Kofu City International Art Festival (Japan), Gertrude Projection Festival, Willoughby Art Biennale and Beams Art Festival (Chippendale, Sydney).

He has also been the recipient of a number of awards and grants, including being exhibited at Perth Institute for Contemporary Art as one of Australia’s high achieving graduates. As a recent recipeint of the Eureka Art Prize 2018, he also received the Ballarat Arts Foundation’s Project Assistants Grant, the People’s Choice Award at the ANL Maritime Art Awards and residencies with WASPS studios in Edinburgh and Fife Scotland and also with AIRY Kofu in Kofu City Japan.

He is currently living and working in Melbourne and has a studio at Schoolhouse Studios Collingwood.

Artist’s statement

Current movements in science, mysticism and ecology lead to tangents within my work that crossover from the realms of realism to fantasy as a means of exploring the fluidity of our identity and existence within a fluctuating landscape of cultural change at a cellular and microscopic level. My work draws from images of both real and imaginary places, to examine relationships between micro and macro worlds and the language, forms and networks that exist within our biosphere.

The languages and symbiotic relationships of plants, fungi and bacteria cultures, give rise to transformations of microorganisms, energy fluctuations, transmigration of cells and the distribution of nutrients within the environment and our bodies. It is these processes that influence and form the shapes, composition and psychedelic tones within my work. The paintings are a process of ritual and meditation on things both massive and microscopic, magic and scientific, internal and external.

Using both painting and moving image I aim to examine and create dialog in regards to the boundaries of what is natural and what is artificial within the environment and the point where science meets science fiction. I also aim to create metaphors for larger social and philosophical discussion on the topic of the unseen within our environment and our bodies.

Within my animations, the digital and handmade worlds of image making meet in a collision of pixels, molecules and cosmic energy to create a dialog regarding identity, our place within our environment and the impact of a technologically developing world on the way we interact and communicate within the environment. You stand as a voyeur overseeing the processes of the life and death of cells and the language of plants taking on visual forms. The unseen becomes visible and it allows time for contemplation on what it means to be a part of this complex and symbiotic network of cells and microorganisms.

Current movements in science, mysticism and ecology lead to tangents within my work that crossover from the realms of realism to fantasy as a means of exploring the fluidity of our identity and existence within a fluctuating landscape of cultural change at a cellular and microscopic level. My work draws from images of both real and imaginary places, to examine relationships between micro and macro worlds and the language, forms and networks that exist within our biosphere.

The languages and symbiotic relationships of plants, fungi and bacteria cultures, give rise to transformations of microorganisms, energy fluctuations, transmigration of cells and the distribution of nutrients within the environment and our bodies. It is these processes that influence and form the shapes, composition and psychedelic tones within my work. The paintings are a process of ritual and meditation on things both massive and microscopic, magic and scientific, internal and external.

Using both painting and moving image I aim to examine and create dialog in regards to the boundaries of what is natural and what is artificial within the environment and the point where science meets science fiction. I also aim to create metaphors for larger social and philosophical discussion on the topic of the unseen within our environment and our bodies.

Within my animations, the digital and handmade worlds of image making meet in a collision of pixels, molecules and cosmic energy to create a dialog regarding identity, our place within our environment and the impact of a technologically developing world on the way we interact and communicate within the environment. You stand as a voyeur overseeing the processes of the life and death of cells and the language of plants taking on visual forms. The unseen becomes visible and it allows time for contemplation on what it means to be a part of this complex and symbiotic network of cells and microorganisms.