Ashley Collins (American, born 1967)
Mixed media, 84” x 96”
Plow, alternatively referred to by Collins as Grandfather’s Pocket Watch, is at first glance an homage to those that sacrifice for others, that have gone before us, tilling the soil, awakening before the sunrise, and ceasing work long after dark, day after day. The definition of toil. Collins’ grandfather, who farmed and worked in the textile mills, felt the yoke of that call, and pushed through, hour after hour, for his family and those that would follow.
Yet from that sweat-filled toil, because of that sacrifice, others can leap to freedom. The sheer joy and power of the horse bursting through the words “plow,” unaccepting of a structured life with limits, breaks free from all bonds to follow our dreams, our hearts. The figurative horse seems both to embrace and emanate from a concerted chaos of colors and layers. Among the many textured layers, sings a hidden heart — a drawing that in its simplicity embraces all. The toil, the strength, the leap, the freedom, the dreams. The soil indeed must be tilled, must be ripped from its peaceful slumber by muscle-draining strength, but the harvest of generations is that of chasing dreams.
Text courtesy of the artist