Ashley Armitage is a photographer from Seattle. She curates the online gallery, Girlfriends, and co-runs the female-focused photo agency, Girls by Girls. Her work focuses on reclaiming representations of the female body not through a man’s fantasy, but through a girl’s gaze.
Q : Who are you most inspired by currently?
Right now I’m inspired by current female painters like Leah Reena Goren, Laura Callaghan, Miranda Lorikeet, and Monica Garza.
Q : Do you have any rituals in your day to day?
My morning rituals are really important I like to wake up slowly, drink coffee, and take a bath. Then I like to leave with a clean house.
Q : How would you describe your current school of thought?
The “don’t take anything too seriously” school.
“I want to continue pushing my work to be inclusive of every body and all bodies.”
Q : What music have you been listening to lately?
I’ve gotten really into female post-punk bands like The Slits and Kleenex lately.
Q : What venues do you find important in and around Seattle?
I think that cafes and coffee shops are often underrated. They’re not regarded in as much esteem as a fine arts gallery with white walls, but I love that coffee shops often curate shows with emerging artists. Places like Porchlight Coffee, Joe Bar, and Cupcake Royale all on Capitol Hill have great shows!
Q : What would you like to see more of in the world at large?
I want to see media do a better job at being multi-representational. Over and over again we’re bombarded with the same image of what it means to be beautiful as a woman. This image, of a thin, white, cis-gendered woman, is impossibly narrow and teaches people who do not fall into this category that they aren’t worthy. I want every single person to be able to read a magazine or look at an ad or watch tv and see themselves represented. I believe that we cannot be what we cannot see.
“…we cannot be what we cannot see.”
Q : How do you see your role as a portrait photographer?
I see my role as a portrait photographer as being an aid in diversifying the word “beautiful”. I’ve never shot a signed model, I’ve only shot my real life friends. I want to continue pushing my work to be inclusive of every body and all bodies.
Q : Tell us about Girlfriends Gallery
Girlfriends Gallery started out of the frustration I had at being an emerging female artist unable to find a place. For a while I waited for someone to “discover” me, but I realized that as a woman, I have to work so much harder than my male counterparts to be noticed. I finally realized that if a place for me does not exist, then create it! I believe that by working together, us female and minority artists can carve out our own spaces to succeed. Girlfriends Gallery aims to be an inclusive space to support and showcase the work of emerging artists.