What to know
AstroZone: An Interactive Art Experience presents Chicago-based artist Claire Helen Ashley's immense inflatable pieces in different shapes and colors suspended from the ceiling as well as floor level placements. This site specific, immersive installation of painted inflatable sculptures, complemented with audio and lighting experiences, draws upon the artist's futuristic visions of extra-terrestrial life forms and alien landscapes. Ashley's imagination is influenced by a myriad of sources that helped shape this exhibition, including luminescent organisms, Aurora Borealis, asteroids, dinosaur eggs, fossils, tropical foliage, space suits, the primordial ooze, and the story of the Garden of Eden.
The artist considers lightheartedness and humor an integral component to her approachable exhibition and she also wishes to convey a sense of tactility and physicality to the viewer. Ashley offers, "I seek out moments where body-scape (human, animal, and alien) and landscape (land, sea, and outer space) meet in my work. I encourage a sense of wonder and curiosity in the uncanny, oddball world that is both extra-terrestrial and utterly kitsch. I want people to recall the experience of looking up at the natural phenomena in the night sky, or deep down in the ocean, but they sense something else in the experience."