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Work Samples

BEE HOUSE (2019)

BEE HOUSE (2019); This solitary bee house was made to accommodate mason bees and leafcutter bees. The tubes, where the bees will lay their eggs, were made from the invasive bamboo Pseudosasa japonica (on the outside) and cardboard (on the inside). The box is adorned with paintings and other artifacts. The House was shown at the Peale Center as part of the Baker Off the Web show.

Nature Playspace, Druid Heights, Baltimore

NATURE PLAYSPACE, DRUID HEIGHTS, BALTIMORE (2019) This project involved transforming 2 empty lots on McCulloh St in the Druid Heights area into a community nature playspace with an emphasis on sustainability and native pollinator plants. The design was drawn up by myself with help and advice from The Druid Heights Development Corporation, National Wildlife Federation, The University of MD Medical Center and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The installation was completed by my company International Landscaping and Design over a period of approximately 8 months in 2019.

Pollinator Hexagon I (2019)

This photo shows the first pollinator hexagon I installed for Art on the Trail in Lake Roland Park, with the addition of a solitary bee house. Beneath the bee house is a small planting area with pycanthemum muticum (mountain mint). The stone work (18ft in diameter) contains 6 pieces of bluestone found close to the location of the installation.

The Lung and the Feather Triptych 2020

Pencil, watercolor and ink on paper. 42"by 21", 36" by 18" and 42" by 21" My recent work, mainly through osmosis of the anxiety of these Covid 19 times, has produced a series of paintings and drawings inspired by nature but often featuring strange twists or mutations, as often happens in nature. Some of these drawings and paintings were started just after I experienced a medical condition which in itself changed the direction of some of my art.

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About ashley

Baltimore City

ashley kidner's picture
Ashley Kidner is a Baltimore based environmental artist. Kidner works with native plants, wood, water and stone, in addition to watercolors and “box construction”. Kidner’s work often deals with issues such as climate change, habitat lose and most recently the demise of pollinators. Pollination has dominated much of  Kidner's recent work,  drawing attention to the demise of  native bees in Maryland. Despite having a devastating effect on human population, Covid 19 has produced... more

Druid Heights Nature Playspace

This project involved transforming 2 empty lots on McCulloh St in the Druid Heights area into a community nature playspace with an emphasis on sustainability and native pollinator plants. The design was drawn up by myself with help and advice from The Druid Heights Development Corporation, National Wildlife Federation, The Univesity of MD Medical Center and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The installation was completed by my company International Landscaping and Design over a period of approximately 8 months in 2019.
https://blog.nwf.org/2019/08/bringing-nature-play-to-west-baltimore/?_ga...

Watercolors

The watercolors presented in this project are all recent (mainly 2020) and were inspired by my interest in mutation.  My recent work, mainly through osmosis of the anxiety of these Covid 19 times, has produced a series of paintings and drawings inspired by nature but often featuring strange twists or mutations, as often happens in nature. Some of these drawings and paintings were started just after I experienced a medical condition which in itself changed the direction of some of my art.

Workshops, Pollinator/wildlife gardens and future projects

This project shows workshops I've given on solitary bee house construction, pollinator/wildlife gardens I have designed and installed, in addition to a project I'm working on to create an outdoor classsroom for Hampden Elementary/Middle school . This outdoor classroom has resulted from the Covid 19 pandemic forcing schools to rethink some learning spaces and is an excellent way for kids to engage with the flora and fauna native to Maryland.
Here's a link to the Stoop Story Telling piece I gave on native bees.
https://www.stoopstorytelling.com/event/iida-breaking-boundries-loving-t...

Mail Art

These are a selection of mail art cards (mainly pencil and watercolor) that in some cases have travelled great distances. I have always been facinated with mail art and have been sending small  sketches and drawings to friends and fellow artists throughout the years. This is a selection I sent to myself. Sometimes the postal stamps add an official feel to the artwork, thus changing the piece dramatically. I have enjoyed mailing artwork from the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in DC, as they take particular care and dare I say pride in stamping my work!

Work with Native Solitary Bees

 
This project shows some details involving my work with native solitary bees. I have installed a number of solitary bee houses in and around Baltimore and try to maintain and manage them. 

  • Bee house for native solitary bees

    This is the bee house I designed for use in parks and gardens around Baltimore, constructed by Dave Chicherio. The design shelters the replaceable 6" beetubes from the wind and rain. It is designed for use by mason bees (osmia spp.) and leafcutter bees (megachilde spp.) and constructed from cedar wood and other scrap wood.
  • Leafcutter bee (megachilde spp. )being released just after hatching (april 2019)

    Newly born leafcutter bee ready for release after spending the winter as larvae in my fridge.
  • Mason Bees laying eggs

    Mason Bees laying eggs in the tubes of a Solitary bee house constructed for the Art on the Farm workshop (2018)
  • Mason bee eggs after removal from tubes

    This picture shows mason bee (osmia bicornis) eggs before cleaning after removal from the cardboard bee tubes.(6" by 1/4") This batch was from a bee house constructed for the Art on the Farm workshop.
  • Leafcutter bee eggs in grass stems

    This picture shows leaf cutter bee eggs in grass stems, the eggs are surrounded by pollen and are separated by mud packs. This was from another bee house constructed at the Art on the Farm workshop and installed by my garden.
  • Mason Bee cocoons, cleaned (December 2018)

    These Mason Bee eggs, (which came from the Art on the farm workshop) were cleaned with a mild solution of water and bleach. They will be stored in a jar in the fridge until they are released in the warmer spring weather.
  • Detail of Megachile species (leaf cutter bee) egg pack removed from bee tube.

    This photo shows the material magachile species (leaf cutter bees) use to pack their eggs and pollen, the scale shows 1/8ths of an inch.
  • leaf cutter bee after hatching (april 2019)

    This video shows a leaf cutter bee (megachilde spp.) a short time after hatching. I had kept the eggs in a small ice cream container in the fridge throughout the winter along with some mason bee eggs.
  • Mason bees (osmium bicornis) shortly after hatching (april 2019)

    This picture shows 2 mason bees (osmia bicornis) ready for release after hatching in a small ice cream container. They also spent the winter in my fridge.
  • Bee tube close up

    This photo shows the leaves used to seal in the eggs laid by megachile species (leaf cutter bees) in the 1/2" cardboard bee tubes. The upper middle tube has been compromised by a parasitic spider, indicated by the small hole.

Birdland and the Anthropocene exhibition at the Peale Center (2017)

This project shows work  from the 2017 exhibition Birdland and the Anthropocene,  a show curated by avid bird lover and artist Lynn Parkes that exhibited at the Peale Center in downtown Baltimore. The show highlighted the negative influence that man has inflicted on the bird population of planet Earth. As part of the group exhibition, I installed 5 replica nests of  endangered MD groundnesting birds in the garden of the Peale Center.
https://www.thepealecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/finalbirdland.pdf

Nature Art in the Park (Leakin Park), Art on the Trail (Lake Roland Park) and other installations installed in US

These works are part of the Art on the Trail series of installations  at Lake Roland Park, Baltimore and  Nature Art in the Park work  in Leakin Park, Baltimore (2014 to Present). They include my Pollinator Hexagon series of installations. In addition to other work installed in the US.
https://chesapeakebaymagazine.com/art-on-the-waterfront-brings-inspired-...

  • Pollinator hexagon I with solitary bee house (2019)

    My pollinator hexagon I installation has the addition of a solitary bee house above replanted pycanthemum viginianum (mountain mint).
  • Earth transfer with stone, wood and moss

    Northern mound or barrow; Fall phase; 6ft diameter moss circle surrounded by rotting cedar mulch found nearby. Photo by greg Dohler
  • Earth transfer (second phase): Depression or anti-cline (2015)

    earthwork, land art, moss, burial mound
    Earth Transfer (second phase) depression or anticline: moss and stone (quatrz and moss)
  • Well of Passion, 2014

    Well of Passion, Nature Art in the Park 2014. Vine balls constructed from wisteria vines, gravel and boulders.
  • Swalevine 2016, Adkins Arboretum,MD

    vines, non-native vines, native vines,
    This installation was part of the "Artists in dialogue with nature" outdoor invitational at Adkins Arboretum, installed in late spring/early summer 2016. The installation was constructed using mainly non-native grape vines cut from the surrounding forest. The vines were twisted together to form a long (approx 85'), snaking sculpture which followed the course of a swale which may have been a road at some point in time.
  • Pollinator Hexagon IV

    Pollinator Hexagon IV (2018); Installed for the Art on the Waterfront show in Middle branch Park. The stone was delaware river gravel. Central zone; Rudbeckia maxima (giant coneflower) Middle zones; Echinacea purpurea "magnus" (purple coneflower) Outer zones Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
  • Pollinator Hexagon V

    Pollinator Hexagon V (2018); Installed for the Artists in Dialogue with Nature show at Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely MD. The dead wood was collected from around the Arboretum and was a mixture of loblolly pine, red maple and other native trees. Central zone; Rudbeckia maxima (giant cone flower), Middle zones Echinacea purpurea "rubinstern" (purple coneflower) outer zones; Solidago hybrida "little lemon" (Little lomon goldenrod)
  • Gunpowder River project 2007

    Installation on the Gunpowder river, Phoenix MD. Sneezeweed flowers, freshwater mussels and butterfly weed used to mark the mud cracks on the Gunpowder river. The mussels marked out a 20ft diameter circle on the river bed while the level was low.
  • Pollinator Hexagon II

    This installation was part of the 2017 Inside/Out sculpture show at Montpellier Arts center in Laurel, MD. The stone used was colonial wallstone and the perennials were Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamont)
  • Jannis Kounellis stone wall 2002

    This wall was installed as part of the 2002 Arte Povera show in the Hirshhorn museum in DC. We followed the instructions of the artist to create a free standing dry laid wall that was visible from both sides using local stone, in this case western MD fieldstone.

Box Constructions

Assemblages: Wood, stone, oil paint, sand, photographs, natural and manmade objects.

  • The age of flint 2005

    Box assemblage; collected flint, bottles, photographs, marbles, mirrors, geological drawings and text. 18" by 18"
  • BEE HOUSE (2019)

    BEE HOUSE (2019); This solitary bee house was made to accommodate mason bees and leafcutter bees. The tubes, where the bees will lay their eggs, were made from the invasive bamboo Pseudosasa japonica (on the outside) and cardboard (on the inside). The box is adorned with paintings and other artifacts. The House was shown at the Peale Center as part of the Baker Off the Web show.
  • Death by Cleavage 1991

    Box assemblage; stone, ruler. 12" by 16"
  • Death by Cleavage IV 1994

    Box assemblage; slate with red sandstone. 16" by 10"
  • The weathering of flint (pt. 1) (2005)

    Box assemblage constructed with flint,stonedust, wooden ruler.
  • White flint circle 2005

    Box assemblage; flint with sand and glue. 14" by 14"
  • Blakeney Point Box # L249 LF (2007)

    Box assemblage; flint, maps, stamps, compass, photographs of installations, sand 10"by 10"
  • Death by cleavage III 1992

    Box assemblage; Stone, crushed mica, toy tree, oil painting on board. 16" by 10"
  • Black Gold 1992

    box construction, stone, shadow box
    Box construction: red sandstone, mica, core sample (limestone), 35mm film, paintbrush, black and white photograph
  • Box sketches 2014

    A series of 4" by 4" box sketches, containing stone, geology maps, photographs, water sample bottles. This series was inspired by the anti-fracking campaign in MD and talks about the relationship between man and water pollution. This Piece won first prize in the bridges in science exhibition (2014) put on by Towson Arts Collective.

Earth Works installed in Reykjavik, Iceland and the UK

These photographs document 4 projects installed on the beach near Reykjavik airport, Reykjavik, Iceland, all involving the stone basalt. My fascination with Basalt goes back to my Studies and work in geology. Basalt for me represents the movement and creation of possible land masses through plate tectonics, an important part of Earth's geological history. Interestingly Reykjavic has imported yellow sand from the US to replace the black basalt sand native to Iceland, for use on one of it's recreational beeches.
2009 Basaltic Hexagon project; Basalt stones were collected and placed in a hexagonal pattern, each hexagon approx. 3ft in width. The pattern reflects the nature of basalt when emerging from the earth, it often forms large hexagonal layers. The installation was started at low tide, I then worked until high tide started to lap on to the completed hexagons.
2010 Basalt high tide markers; In this project I guessed at the position of high tide on the shoreline. Then basalt was collected and placed to mark high tide. The next day when I visited the installation and found that I had marked the high tide mark accurately; below the basalt stones on the ocean side the beach was frozen, above the stones on the landward side the basalt remained unfrozen.
2012 Basalt circle; Basalt was collected and placed in a 12ft diameter circle with a hexagonal shape in the middle, this was installed at low tide. At high tide the circle was slowly flooded out and destroyed.
2014 The worship of Basalt I and II;  Location directly at the end of runway for Reykjavik airport. A large basalt boulder (approx. 3ft long) lying secluded from the surrounding rocks was selected for the installation. Small basalt stones with kelp attached were selected then dragged across the sand and placed with the stones facing the boulder. The action of dragging the stones across the sand (which had a light dusting of snow on it) left interesting lines on the beach. The installation was performed 2 times on consecutive days (high tide washing away the stones overnight); in part 1 a hexagon was formed around the boulder, in part 2 the shape was an outline of the boulder.
The  remaining pictures are a selection on projects installed in the UK.

  • The worship of Basalt (pt. 1)

    Basalt, hexagon, stone, land art, earth art
    THE WORSHIP OF BASALT (Pt. 1) 2014 Installed on the Beach near Reykjavik airport, Reykjavik, Iceland. Basalt boulder surrounded by small basalt stones with kelp attached. The hexagonal shape reflects the form basalt takes when deposited in large layers on the sea floor.
  • The worship of Basalt part 2

    The small basalt pebbles encircle and pay homage to the boulder
  • The worship of Basalt

    Small basalt stones with kelp attached. The roots from the kelp were able to penetrate the porous basalt stones.
  • Basaltic Hexagon project 2009

    Basalt stones arranged in hexagonal form at low tide, late afternoon.
  • Icelandic Circle project 2012

    A 12ft diameter circle constructed with Basalt stones, the middle section was left open in the shape of a hexagon. Installed at low tide.
  • Basalt High Tide Marker 2010

    In this installation I walked along the beach at low tide and tried to guess at the location where high tide would come up to on the beach. Basalt stones were collected and placed to mark the positions. On return the next day I found my guesses to be correct, the atlantic ocean side of the stones were frozen while the landward side remained unfrozen. The effect was as if the stones had stopped the high tide at this point.
  • Chestnut Ivy installation 2014

    Installed on Bouldry's Island in the middle of the waveney river, which runs through Outney Common near Bungay, Suffolk, England. Chestnut "conkers" were attached to ivy hanging from a tree which had fallen, it's roots were eroded by the river.
  • Chestnut Ivy installation 2014

    Bouldry's Island in the river Waveney on Outney Common, near Bungay, Suffolk, England. Chestnuts attached to ivy hanging from a fallen tree.
  • Blakeney Point flint project #4 2007

    Photo looking along north/south axis of installation.
  • Marsh circle #2 2012

    Outney common, near Bungay, Suffolk, England. Cow manure circle 24ft in diameter.

Blakeney Point Flint Project #5 (cairn with fire and henge) Norfolk, England, 2007. Including the Blakeney Point Flint Project cabinet for the Artscape 2017 Fieldwork exhibition.


Installed on Blakeney Point, Norfolk, England, December 28th-31st 2007.
 Exhibited as part of Artscape 2017 fieldwork group show.
Circle diameter 20ft, height of cairn 3ft
  Blakeney Point Flint Project #5 was the culmination of 4 previous installations (or sketches) in exactly the same location on the western side of a large sand dune just above normal high tide. Flint was collected from the surrounding area and sorted into 6 colors; white, blue, light blue, black, tan, red. The position of the cairn and henge were marked, sand was excavated from the henge to form the mound for the cairn. The different colored flints were then placed to form the outer circle (white), henge (blue) and cairn (light blue, black, tan and red). Washed up vegetation (jetsam and flotsam) were placed in the henge.
Dry driftwood was collected and used to build a fire on the top of the cairn. The installation was a homage to the Neolithic stone circles found throughout the British Iles.