Woolly Bully, 2020
Copper engraving and aquatint
Ashton Ludden is a printmaker, educator, and sign artist.
Her prints explore our relationship with other living creatures as we become further removed from the natural world. As she researches human impact on endangered animals, Ludden develops images of wildlife coping with humans’ influence on their livelihood. She makes use of multiple printmaking processes, such as hand-engraving on copper and monotype, to link the fragile existence of each animal to a subtle pattern of its threat, such as plastic pollution or logging. Collectively, Ludden’s prints are alert to the wild around us and consider our everyday actions that affect it directly or indirectly. Her work aims to evoke a renewal of attentiveness, conversation, and respect for other living beings.
Currently, she is developing a body of work focusing on issues closer to home in the East Tennessee region. The first print in this series is of the North Carolina Flying Squirrel, which is losing its habitat due to the invasive woolly adelgids attacking the Eastern Hemlocks. Ludden is interested in the ramifications of invasive species in our own backyard, such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Ashton Ludden received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee in 2013 and her BFA in Engraving Arts and Printmaking from Emporia State University in 2009. Ludden’s prints have been exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally as well as at animal education and welfare conferences. She teaches printmaking and bookmaking workshops regionally and nationally.
Currently, Ludden is an artist member of the Vacuum Shop Studios Collaborative (vacuumshopstudios.wordpress.com) and the head sign artist for Trader Joe’s in Knoxville, TN.