Ashley Sauder Miller

Region: South


City / State: Harrisonburg, VA

 An heirloom rocking chair in need of restoration was my inspiration to learn to cane, which evolved into an ongoing series of paintings and mixed media works investigating the forms and textures of chairs and interior spaces. Drawers and boxes in my studio overflow with scraps collected for the past twenty years—treasured family photos, heirloom embroidery, pieces of chair upholstery, vintage drawer liners, richly colored and textured textiles, stacks of children’s drawings—bits and pieces of stories and nostalgia, a collection of a lifetime.

This body of work combines found and discarded materials with traditional art media. Thrift-store quilt squares, parts of chairs found by the side of the road, balsa wood, and bits of cut paper left behind by my children are layered with paint, marker, and oil pastel to create contemporary narratives from past stories. The chair pieces have evolved into a complex narrative—one both deeply personal and widely shared—stories of loss, renewal, remembrance, expectancy, surprise, and change.