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Brett Ashby rolls through 2021 with inaugural residency at Pentridge.

Melbourne based public, performance and contemporary artist, Brett Ashby has recently been announced an inaugural resident artist at Pentridge – Melbourne’s former historic prison, which has been transformed into a community development space.

One of just a handful of artists now calling Pentridge home, Ashby is a featured resident artist as part of Pentridge Arts, creating and sharing his art from his own Pentridge-based studio. During his residency, he will have the opportunity to exhibit his art in both group and solo exhibitions, as well as welcome the school and community groups he works with to the space.

“I feel like this time at Pentridge will help me to continue my journey to create, grow and heal with my art,” Ashby said.

“I feel that I can really place myself here, be guided by Pentridge’s past and energy, and let that flow into my creative process.”

One creative process he hopes to showcase at Pentridge soon is his skateboard performance art. Ashby recently spoke with John McKenna on ‘So…’ podcast about his performance art of flowing, ‘rolling’, and growth through art, creation, and connection. In his 15-year journey as both a local and international artist, Ashby opened up about how his artistic practice and connections helped him to discover his own story and healing. Using his childhood love of surfing and skating in a flow-state artistic process he calls ‘rolling’, Ashby explores how art can be created through interpreting energy and vibrations.

“I’m very interested in place and space, and capturing the moment in time,” he said on ‘So…’.

Ashby has constructed two mobile half-pipes, and places an easel and mounted canvas in the centre. He has been collaborating with musicians and painting portraits of them while he skates – creation in motion.

“I’m not painting their face, I’m painting the energy and their vibration on the canvas - which does create a portrait, but we’re looking at the inner voice of that subject,” he said.

Ashby doesn’t interview the musician prior to the performance, he simply lets their music and their energy guide his brushstrokes.

In an open conversation with John on ‘So…’ Podcast that rolls and flows like Ashby’s art, they discuss his unique skateboard-riding-portrait-painting-process, and how connecting with young people through public art helped him to learn and rediscover his own journey, as well as produce public artworks that made a positive contribution to community.

Please click image to listen to the podcast.