Known for her underwater camera work that transforms the traditional horizon line into a fluid moving plane that upends expectations, in the past few years, Ashford has experienced her own upending. On a journey to Antarctica to explore the interplay between water and ice, Ashford came face to face with the effects of climate change.
Eager to capture the beauty as a call to action, Ashford's work took on new meaning and urgency. She traveled to the North Pole and later to the archipelagos of Svalbard where she witness the dramatic effects of melting polar ice. This new work also explores abstract forms with biomorphic structure and composition, capturing these floating polar jewels before they disappear.
On her most recent expedition, she hoped to photograph baby polar bears. On a trip to the Arctic one year ago, she saw thirty three polar bears, some healthy, others gaunt. One year later, she only saw six, one of them alone on a small island, climbing a mountain to eat a bird and its eggs—not normal polar bear behavior, but the actions of a species desperate to survive.
Despite the shock of this devastating loss of ice and habitat, Ashford's overarching message is one of hope and beauty. Just as her subjects transformed her everyday actions to those that sustain life, she hopes that her photographs empower viewers to see themselves as stewards of the earth, that they, too, take positive action to preserve the great beauty of our planet.
Ashford graduated from Mount Holyoke College and studied at the International Center for Photography in New York. Her work has been exhibited at the Page Bond Galley, Richmond,VA, Artful Living, Washington, DC, the Newport Art Museum, Coleman Center of Education, Newport, RI , CadeTompkins Gallery, Providence, RI, and The Antique and Artisan Gallery, Stamford, CT, as well as galleries throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic.