I Don’t Know About You But … I Decline Myself

[‘I Decline Myself: ABNbookwork” Cottles Bridge, Vic. ThisTooPress, (2009).]

Lyn Ashby was born in 1953. Ashby has a PhD (Studio-based, arts research) from Monash University in Melbourne, the London College of Communication (Master of Arts, Typo/Graphic Studies), the Victorian College of Arts (Graduate Diploma in TV/Film), the Sydney College of Arts (Bachelor of Visual Arts – Photography) and Adelaide University (Bachelor of Arts – English Language and Literature).

Ashby has also won awards in film:

  • FFICS, Tokyo for the animated film Under the Weather, in photography
  • Lady Fairfax Award for Photography, open section, for Peripheral Vision
  • The Southern Cross University Acquisitive Artists Book Award (for The Ten Thousand Things) and;
  • received several grants from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Ashby’s art tends towards exploring existential breaking points which is perhaps where the real inquiry begins. From his book, I Decline Myself, (featured above) he investigates the idea that we are formed by language; a concept reflecting the ongoing importance of literature in Ashby’s oeuvre. In working his way through the various decisions of a noun, Ashby literally constructs a self-portrait out of words.

His decision to print the text and images on transparent paper allows the reader to view simultaneously what has come before and what becomes after, though in a purposefully occluded way.

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