"Umpy Lundersphere" created by Claire Ashley is an immersive environment that feels like an imaginary undersea cave or alien planet. It is made with stitched, painted, inflatable sculptures, hand painted area rugs, bean bags, and exercise balls - or - are they sea creatures or alien beings waiting to hatch? Relax, watch, roll, and listen to the space.
"Claire Ashley’s work encapsulates so much of our imaginative and curious spirit here at Boston Children’s Museum through her larger-than-life inflatable sculptures," said Faith Johnson, Arts Educator and Program Manager. "It is a visual and tactile immersive show that invites our visitors to step into a world of wonder experienced through sight, touch, and sound."
Claire Ashley received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), and her BFA from Gray’s School of Art (Aberdeen, Scotland). Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Ashley is now Chicago based. Currently, she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Practices, and the Department of Painting and Drawing.
Ashley’s work investigates inflatables as painting, sculpture, installation and performance costume. These works have been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries, museums, and site-specific installations, performances and collaborations. Her work has been featured on blogs such as VICE, Hyperallergic, and Artforum, and in magazines such as Sculpture Magazine, Art Papers, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, Yorkshire Post, and Condé Nast Traveller (European), and shown at venues such as 808 Gallery, Boston University (Boston, MA), University of Buffalo Galleries (Buffalo, NY), Anya Tish Gallery (Houston, TX), CAFKA Biennial of Art in Public Places (Kitchener, ON, CAN), Indiana State Museum (Indianapolis, IN), Young World (Detroit, MI), DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln, MA), Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (Portland, OR), Columbus College of Art and Design, (Columbus, OH), ICEBOX Crane Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Bedford Gallery, (Walnut Creek, CA), Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, (Austin, TX), The Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, (Chicago, IL and The Tetley Center for Contemporary Art, (Leeds, England).