A woodland love affair

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Written by Sacha Kenny | Images by Sacha Kenny
20 November 2014

Sacha Kenny chats to Wellington artist Asher Boardman whose detailed work takes inspiration from the wilderness and mountains that surround her charming home



Meeting artist Asher Boardman at her Akatarawa Valley home is like stepping into an enchanted fairytale. Down a long tree-lined driveway, Asher’s cute A-frame home, which she shares with her partner and young son, is set in a beautiful garden, surrounded by trees and banked by the Tararua mountain range and Hutt River - on which they enjoy a private sandy beach.  

Sitting at the kitchen table it’s easy to see where Asher’s inspiration comes from – looking out the window one's mind easily wanders out over the ranges and joins the woodland creatures Asher loves to draw.

Asher, who has a Visual Arts degree from WelTech, combines geometric shapes, woodland animals and detailed patterns to create beautifully detailed, mono-tone images using Indian ink and acrylic paint on, primarily, a wood-panel canvas.

“I like geometrics and I like the idea behind it, you know it’s more man-made, un-natural. It’s like a contrast to the natural environment, that’s kind of where my theme comes into it. I don’t really use New Zealand animals much, my work has more of a world-wide view. I like foxes and woodland creatures. I just love them, how can you not love foxes?”

Asher’s current work focuses on the concept of human interference in an animal’s world. Having approached this theme from the perspective of an animal trying to survive in a world where its habitat is forever changing due to humans, Asher uses geometric shapes to create contrast alongside the organic forms she uses to represent nature.

“I started looking at how the animals are lost in the space within the image. The animals in my work are often submerged in a foreign world of harsh contrast, black and white patterns and objects that don't normally appear in an animal’s natural habitat. The use of black or white animal silhouettes represents their presence, or lack of, as they gradually disappear from their natural landscape as it is destroyed to make way for human developments. 

“The geometric patterns represent human interference in an animal’s world - how we’ve been making it harder for them to procreate, live and survive."

“It’s a theme I’m not only passionate about but I’m also really enjoying. I’d really like to develop this idea further and see where it goes.”

A two-year veteran of the NZ Art Show, Asher is excited to be part of the 2015 show which will run over the weekend of 19 -21 June at Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena.

To view more of Asher’s work visit her website

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