A vessel is defined as a hollow container and in the human experience, we are constantly shifting between the use of various vessels. There are the daily rituals of eating and drinking, but dinnerware is put to work as so much more than just containers for food or drinks; we fill these vessels with emotional experiences, sentimental memories, and ritualistic duties. In this expanded definition, we can look at clothes, cars, books, cell phones, or houses vessels as well. They can do almost everything we ask of our dishes besides actually acting as a vehicle for sustenance. These alternative daily vessels are vehicles for emotional nourishment.
Ashley Young’s utilitarian work is layered with representational and non-representational information about vessels. Her current body of work depicts abandoned houses from around the U.S. and Canada and abstracted constellations or stars. The glazes pull and distort her drawings, making them feel unsettling and mysterious. She highlights stars with gold luster, adding a touch of romanticism and aged beauty. The way the houses are depicted allows the viewer to experience sentimentality and Young also connects with her users through memory and familiar experiences. The depiction of familiar yet slightly abstracted objects adds to the appeal of her work, allowing the viewer to feel safety and wonderment, simultaneously.
Young earned her BFA from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She is now working on a Post-Bacc at UNT to further develop her body of work.