Ashley and I were friends at the University of Texas and studied art together in Italy. It was so much fun catching up with her today. I'm the proud owner of one of her prints. Her story is truly an inspiration.
Native Texan, Ashley Woodson Bailey, creates lasting flower arrangements through the lens of a camera after a life-changing accident in 2012 left her physically unable to create for large-scale events. All her images are captured and edited with her iPhone. Her gorgeous prints can be purchased at www.ashleywoodsonbailey.com.
Not only do you take beautiful pictures, you tell a beautiful “story”. You are open and honest about your life and I think it's one of your many gifts as an artist. Does this come naturally or is it something that you work toward?
It has always come very naturally. Since our accident two years ago, telling my story has become part of our life. I want to show people that anything is possible. I feel like all my life I have been an open book. But now my story is more relevant and can be inspiring to others.
I see a beautiful coffee table book full of beautiful images and rich stories. Is this a goal of yours?
Yes, it is a goal of mine and I am actually working with an agent right now.
Where do you take your pictures and what do you do with these beautiful flowers once they have been photographed?
I take most of the pictures in my backyard in the early morning when the light is soft. I will start taking some pictures in my new studio space as well. After the initial photographs are taken I let the flowers wilt and die and then take pictures of the flowers throughout this metamorphosis.
REST in Domine Home
One thing I love about your work is that an arrangement is never really “done”. It’s all part of the story. For people who collect your work and are fans you are changing the way people look at flowers. (In a good way.) Is this intentional?
At my show last week at the Paris Market another photographer gave me incredible compliment. He said, “I want to throw up your photographs are so good. And in a way the flowers feel very lonely.” I buy most of my flowers in LA and when I buy them they are beautiful flowers. These flowers have so much beauty and life. But in a way they are already dying for they have been cut from their lifeline. During the processing and editing phase I am thinking of my own survival. The flowers are part of who I am. I speak through the language of flowers.
Regarding your work, do you have anything exciting coming up?
Yes, I have a show at Ann Mashburn in October here in Atlanta. In November I have partnered with One Kings Lane for a one-week sale. I am working with a local bag designer on a collection of handbags that I am very excited about. I am delving into the interior design world with a line of wallpaper and I am Australia bound in December to teach classes with the incomparable Megan Morton and The School.
I truly feel like every experience in your life has led you to where you are today. Can you speak to this?
Absolutely, everything I have gone through in my life brings me to where I am today. The way I see things has been formed from being raised in South Texas, graduating from the University of Texas, my time in Italy and France, being married and divorced, working with some of the most creative people in the world, living in New York City, working at the Savannah College of Art and Design, being a single mother, getting married the second time for the right reasons, having children older, the accident in 2012,my amazing friends and family and moving to the suburbs. All of these events have had a huge impact upon my work and where I am today.
Sharing the process of a painterly approach to art, wallcoverings, and textiles.