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Ashley Middleton
Presented By Heidi Russell
Beauty, "the quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses.  It is associated with such
properties as harmony of form truthfulness, and originality."
In today's society we have altered our perception of beauty.  Like everything else in our culture,
beauty has become something that can be bought.  We buy materials to fix our outside
appearance so that we distract ourselves from what is inside.  The natural body has become
taboo and is continuously being shaped into this "ideal form."  The meaning of beauty is
constantly being redefined and the truth about who we are is becoming more difficult to discover.  
Unzipped is meant to counteract the idea that the body is an endurance.  It deals with the
insecurities we face when looking at ourselves in our most natural form.   Most of us carry this
invisible zipper, when closed, secures us from a culture that has set specific ideals on our body. It
symbolizes ownership; it is ours, we own it, and we decide whether we want it open or closed.  It
is very rare that one will open their zipper and feel safe.  My goal is to illustrate beauty in our
truest form.
Ashley Middleton is a Fine Art Photographer who uses her work to convey subjective ideas on cultural values,
social expectations, and the perception of self. She was first interested in the arts as a classical ballet dancer but
later discovered her passion for capturing movement on photographic film while studying abroad in Paris.
Through the lens Ashley began to learn the value of the body; the meaning of its form and the relationship to its
environment.  She studied photography and sociology at New York University and graduated with a BA in
Individualized Study.  

After completing her first series Unzipped she moved to Los Angeles to work under the direction of various
fashion and commercial photographers where she continued to study the techniques of image making.  Ashley’s
photographs have been published in journals, newspapers, and online magazines in New Jersey, New York and
Paris.  She has exhibited works and curated shows in Los Angeles, New York, and New Jersey.  Her most recent
exhibition at Climate/Gallery in New York displayed photographs from her series Conceptions of Identity, which
examined the ambivalent relationship between culture and the individual.

Through photographic expression and a unique point of view she works to create narratives that will express her
ideas on cultural norms, deceptive body images, social perceptions, and modern conceptions of the mind.  Ashley
currently lives in Brooklyn and will be receiving an MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths,
University of London, in 2011.