top of page

Artist Statement


Ash Lester

Mixed Huron-Wendat / Métis

Born in Plattsburgh, NY

Lives in Vancouver, BC

*currently working, creating, and educating on unceded MST territory


As a butch lesbian growing up in the Adirondack mountains of northern New York,

I was surrounded by rebel flags and soda bottles filled with chewing tobacco. As a young child I mimicked the phrases and moves of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Queerness was only something talked about when someone with a t-shirt tucked into their jeans said, "no homo". Within this context, I suppressed my lesbianism, avoiding being further isolated in an already remote place. Instead, I became one of the boys. I pushed the envelope of “tomboy-ness” as far as I could without being outed. I went fishing, lifted weights, and I used tools and built things; without the help from the high school shop teacher who wouldn’t let me in the class because I was a woman. My work reflects these aspects of my experience. I touch on issues and topics such as class, isolation, and stereotypes while simultaneously exposing and celebrating those communities and their often cliche cultures. A Nascar flag painted on rose-embossed leather, a handmade calendar of a pinup on a Corvette, and Mountain Dew wine Bottles. I utilize found objects and surface treatment materials such as Bondo, plastidip, painter's caulk, and enamel car paint to create objects that interact with each other, imagining narratives that engage with tropes of rural masculinity, while also creating possibilities for butch interventions.

bottom of page