Claire Ashley Debuts Next Installment of Inflatable Art in Her Backyard

Claire Ashley presents Extreme Protection Suits

WTTW Chicago Tonight recently interviewed SAIC Associate Professor, Adj. Claire Ashley (MFA 1995) about making art in quarantine. Ashley has been creating inflatable art for years. Earlier this year, performances of Hot Rocks in the AstroZone were held at the Griffin Music Hall in El Dorado, Arkansas, and now, in her backyard, Ashley premiered Extreme Protection Suits, giant Tyvek marshmallows inflated with fans stitched into the fabric. “I think in terms of all the seriousness and the trauma that’s happening right now, I was interested in using humor as a way to deal with trauma,” Ashley said. “I think a lot of the time laughing is a welcome relief, right? Or is a way to get through hardship.”

Coming up, Ashley will present Attack of the Molecule—a flashing, multi-colored gargantuan blob in reference to sci-fi monsters and plague molecules—from her own window as part of CNL Projects and Terrain Exhibitions' ART-IN-PLACE, which has invited Chicagoland artists to display art from their own homes to be available to the public.