Young artist wows at Youth Week exhibition

Emerging artist, Ashley Hodgson of Crystal Brook, wowed the State Education Minister at an exhibition held for the launch of SA Youth Week 2021 on Wednesday, May 5.

The Gladstone High School Year 12 student was born profoundly deaf and uses art as a creative outlet.

“I have included deaf references in some of my artworks as respect to my community and language,” Ashley said.

“Some of my other work has a lot of my emotion at the time of creating it.”

Ashley said her interest in art was supported when she reached high school, where she had the opportunity to explore different styles and mediums of art before honing her digital skills.

Digital art has become her main medium, focusing on colourful prints that have feeling.

“Creating art to me is about everyone being equal,” Ashley said.

“It’s an equal platform – everyone can create art, be involved in art, enjoy art and be moved by art.”

Ashley’s talent was noticed by the State Education Minister John Gardner, who stated on social media he had purchased one of Ashley’s pieces for his office at the SA Youth Week exhibition.

“It was really amazing, and I felt really honoured that he will display my artwork in his office,” Ashley said.

Ashley said the State Education Minister has since reached out to her to hear more about her experience in the education system, and the artist is excited for the meeting.

“One point I would really love to discuss is Auslan being taught more widely as a school subject across Australia to help create a more inclusive and equal environment not only for today but also for the future,” Ashley said.

Keep an eye on this rising star, she’s got plans for a solo exhibition during the South Australian Living Arts Festival in August and is in the process of establishing a small business called AshKateDraws.