About Ashley: Ashley Clendenen was born in St.John’s, Antigua in 1992. She received her Cambridge Certificate with a Grade A in A Level Art & Design, followed by an Associate’s Degree in Visual Arts with Distinction in 2012 and is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Barbados Community College ending May 2015. Clendenen has exhibited in Antigua and Barbados as a student in a number of group shows. Her current studio practice revolves around themes of power, religion, politics and authority. She currently attends school in Barbados but lives in Antigua.
Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: Ashley’s work explores themes surrounding politics, religion and authority as she create discourse and commentary on global political leaders. Some leaders in the ‘Heads of Power’ series include: Francois Duvalier, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II and Fidel Castro. Discovering a link between charismatic dictators and religion, her work focuses on how political leaders are glorified, praised and revered in a manner similar to how religious devotees approach deities. Politicians “charismatically oriented followers” believe charisma is a divine, superhuman, exceptional power that is based on legitimation through heroism and revelation. As a result, the leaders are placed on pedestals or altars like religious deities. Her work takes the form of installations; – altars, ceremonial spaces, sculptures and 2-D renderings in which the leader becomes apart of the altar and is praised as a deity.
 Anton L. Allahar, Caribbean Charisma: Reflections on Leadership, Legitimacy and Populist Politics (Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001), 3-6.
Ashley on the Theme: As a class, everyone’s work collectively speaks to our exhibition title: old elements transformed into new forms with borrowed constituents of past histories being investigated and challenged, represented with a contemporary twist.