Local Style: Ransom Ashley
You recently moved to Austin and are now part of one of Austin’s newest creative spaces: The Commune. Tell me a little bit about the working space and your role in The Commune.
Absolutely! I will be managing the space and will also be involved artistically with many of the events we’ll be hosting throughout the year. The Commune has quickly become my second home and a huge point of inspiration for me. I discovered this project through instagram and got in touch with Lauren Cunningham who is the mastermind behind the space. She had this incredible vision of a co-working space designed to meet the needs of artists and creatives in the area and brought it to fruition in the most beautiful way.
You grew up LGBTQ in the Bible Belt of Louisiana. How has that challenging early life experience shaped your creative eye?
It incited and developed a certain creative perspective because of the way it so deeply affected me as a human being. I thrived in this inner world that became my refuge and began to find so much solace and escape in the films and movies that later informed so much of my early work. It was a huge growing period for me and really gave me so many things I wanted to say through my work. I discovered the ability I had to process and transmit emotions through my camera in the same way I would with my journal.
What has been your most proud moment to date as an artist?
Off the top of my head, I would say either my Teen Vogue feature or my recent collaboration with Wombat Paris who has worked with some of the most noteworthy photographers and artists that have ever lived. Their latest publication was of Stanley Kubrick in partnership with the Museum of the City of New York. I’m still pinching myself that I got to be a part of what they’re doing.
You have lovely style. Would you say it relates to the art you create?
My style is incredibly fluid and constantly evolving, much like my work. I will be wearing a pattern suit one day and a kimono the next. I love expressing myself through my style and using it as a liberating force in my life and a means to explore my identity. It’s such a vibrant and beautiful way to communicate your personality!
You have a limited edition publication being released by Wombat this month. Tell me a little bit about it + where we can all find a copy.
The special signed edition of my Wombat publication (Wombat is a Paris-based publishing house that works with some of the most established and iconic photographers in the industry to produce limited edition artboxes) is being released in limited print of 50 copies. My unsigned edition of 300 is now sold out so I’m so happy for the people who weren’t able to grab an unsigned copy to have an opportunity to collect an important and very personal piece of my work.
What inspired your move to Austin?
After living in NYC and returning home to Louisiana for a few years, I was ready to relocate to a city that had the opportunity and culture that I missed about NYC. I ended up working on a film project here in Austin and was put up at this lovely bed and breakfast off of South Congress. There was something about the incredibly friendly people, eclectic neighborhoods, and sense of community that immediately connected to me. I called my now fiancé that day and essentially told him that Austin was where we needed to be. The rest is history!
Look 1: Mixed shirt by Loewe, denim by The Row, green jacket by Maison Margiela, boots by Dries Van Noten
Look 2: Orange jacket by Dries Van Noten, trousers by Dries Van Noten, sneakers by Maison Margiela
Look 3: Tee by Maison Margiela, denim by Saint Laurent