BENEATH THE SURFACE explores the chaotic mess that is being in your 20s, a period of life that is full of confusion, anxiety love and loss.

Stress is a human natural response promoting us to address challenges and threats in life.

It is an internal feeling that is personal, indescribable, the opposite of visible, it’s the heavy chest and shaky hands, jittery nerves in the stomach. These bodily responses make small decisions seem unresolvable and manifest anxiety.

In this work, I ask a number of people a set of questions, exploring who they are personally and what they think stress feels like. It’s an open, real conversation that I have during the shoot that seems to influence the final outcome of the project. 

In combination with elements of painting, layering and inverting images, I create a visual depiction of what I think stress looks like in a person, messy, pixelated, half painted and embodies my idea of who I am, I am the centre of my own story.

The series is to be viewed as a collection however each image has layers of detail for the viewers to explore, inviting them in to look closer at the works. Some images have a layer of acrylic hanging in front intended to be looked through, expressing the confusion of this period in life as we try to make sense of what all this means, an effort to get the viewer to feel the same feeling.


instagram: @ashla.claire


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Ashla Corlis-Richards