January 2009 Edwina Ashton makes films, drawings and objects that feature awkward animal characters; embarrassed shrimps, petulant parrots and goading weevils. Presented with a curious mix of intimacy and distance, these characters are gleaned from, old natural history books, originally written for the eager enthusiast, now out of date. She observes the everyday subtleties of human behaviour, and how within that, language, costumes and stories, though invented become natural.
Using Simon Martin’s exhibition as a starting point, Ashton interspersed her residency over one term with a group of pupils from Malmesbury Primary School. They investigated nature through a range of mediums including using found images from magazines through animation, sound work and a visit to Hackney City Farm.
The residency culminated in a jungle installation at the front of class room comprising of tropical tree frogs and birds which were animated through a sound recording made in collaboration with the pupils.