Ashley Kaye Gardner
I am an ex Mormon artist who uses photography to explore issues of home, ancestry, family, connectivity and belonging. I am acutely aware of what it means to be simultaneously an insider and an outsider. Since my childhood my family rarely talks about sexuality and gender roles. Such topics are dismissed by words like obedience, faith, and sin instead of examining how I have strayed from the prescriptions of the church.
This work explores my own identity and cultural belonging by engaging with such themes as pleasure, sexuality, and the self-imposed exile I perpetuate with my daily choices. By confronting the viewer with imagery and objects that invite them to engage in an uncomfortable act, I am attempting to find a metaphor for the growing divide between my family and I.
This has me questioning where I fit in and how to move forward. The intimacy I share with my partner has opened a new space for discovery and vulnerability where I can explore my identity openly and honestly.