Rachael Ashe is a professional artist. This is not a title that one takes on lightly, but it’s something that she’s been working towards for years. Rachael went to school for photography at Humber College in Toronto, but quickly also went in the direction of all things digital – from Photoshop to blogging. Rachael moved to Vancouver in 2004, just in time to be part of the online community of photographers that grew up alongside Flickr, which is where I first met her.
At the beginning of 2010, Rachael left her day job to focus on her art full time for a year. Beyond photography, she has more recently focused on mixed media collage, found objects, paper folding, and most especially altered books. From multiple shows, a healthy newsletter, and her first Eastside Culture Crawl under her belt, the year has been a success. Rachael now finds herself again with a part time day job wrangling online community at Foodtree, a local startup focused on helping people know more about their food.
When you meet Rachael in person, you will notice colour, vibrancy, and creativity – adjectives that equally describe her wardrobe and her personality.
– Boris Mann
01 This is Yuuki, my lovebird companion. We’ve lived together for about nine years now. He is the most charming, funny little bird.
02 Boris is my partner and best friend. He’s in charge of all the cooking at our house. Boys are sexy when they cook.
03 Books inspire me, and I’m constantly exploring different ideas around transforming their pages.
04 I love paper. I buy some materials new, but I prefer to work with paper I’ve reclaimed, like old envelopes, scrap paper, or used wrapping paper.
05 This is a deer skull I collected from Boris’ parents place on Bowen Island. It’s fascinating to study it up close and see the structure and details of what’s normally hidden under the skin of an animal.
06 I recently completed an installation at the Foodtree office where I work part-time. We’ve nicknamed it the Treehouse so I decided to make us a tree. It’s made from yarn, pushpins, and fabric leaves.
07 I’m obsessed with streetart, and this is an example of someone’s work I’ve seen quite often in East Van. I came across this on the walls of the Raja Cinema.
08 One of my favorite things about Vancouver is the large population of crows. I never get tired of watching the flock pass overhead on their way back to their nightly roosting spot.
What neighborhood do you live in? I live just off of Commercial Drive near the old Raja Cinema. It’s the quiet end of The Drive but still as vibrant as the rest of the area. I love the excellent food shopping and all the wonderful murals scattered throughout the neighbourhood.
What do you do and where? I’m an artist and I work part-time from a small studio in my East Van apartment. My background is photography but for the past few years I’ve been creating altered book assemblage collage from old books and found objects. I also work part-time for a tech startup called Foodtree, which is based in Chinatown.
What are you working on? At the moment I’m preparing for back-to-back shows coming up in the next three months. I’ve created a new series of altered books featuring owls, which I’m just in the process of framing. I’m also working on an installation of flowers made from paper to show during the Eastside Culture Crawl.
Where can we find your work?
My work can be found online at rachaelashe.com or flickr.com/goddess_spiral. From November 18th to 20th I’ll be opening up my home to the public during the Eastside Culture Crawl, where I’ll be showing new altered books and an installation or two. I’m also a vendor at Got Craft? in December, and have a solo show at Place des Arts in January.