Edwina Ashton 

At Last, The Postman 

30 June to 6 August 2005

Weevils goading a stump, self-absorbed diners and a doubtful parrot are some of the characters that populate Edwina Ashton's new drawings and videos. These have been gleaned from those now out of date guides for travellers, natural history picture books, and encyclopaedias that once attempted to describe the world to enthusiasts keen to understand.

Ashton’s source material is chosen for its mixture of uncomfortable staginess and optimistic order. Her drawings of overfed lapdogs, awkward meetings and listless afternoons conjure up “…continental holidays of Edwardian fact and fiction … mental pictures of strict enjoyment and evening meals eaten in grand hotel dining rooms to the withering strains of an ageing string quartet.” (Dale McFarland).

In Ashton’s films the narratives are powered by serendipity. Eager creatures perform in elaborate homemade costumes assembled from bits and bobs, tights, foam tubing and sleeping bags. A bat and a mouse take on hopeless projects, tidy up and try to explain.