Ashlynn Doljac, Life Studies

Headshot photo of Ashlynn Doljac, second-year Life Studies

Meet a 2021/2022 Student Group Leader:

“My name is Ashlynn Doljac (she/her), and I am in my second year of studies at OCAD U, majoring in Life Studies. My practice is anchored in the idea of discovering and cultivating meaning-ranging in themes from: the human body in relationship to the natural world, activism, and social change movements (animal rights and environmentalism) and questioning my own identity and experiences of being in the world. My practice is quite diverse, including painting in acrylics, oils, and gouache, charcoal, graphite, multi-media installations, sculpture, and poetry. I derive my inspiration from nature, my own spirituality, and perceptions of existing, trying to break through societal conditioning and cultivate my own truths.

I am currently compiling a body of work to publish my own poetry book later this year, as an ongoing personal project. Additionally, outside of academics, I am a resident artist alongside the Vegan Society of Canada, creating monthly works to coincide with published articles on animal agriculture and environmental protection initiatives. Art and activism hold dear places in my heart, and I am perpetually grateful to be able to express my passions in these creative outlets.

My participation as Co-Student Leader in the Connection Earth Collaborative means creating art that responds and reflects my relationship to the natural world, and how I perceive and interact with the world around me. I have always had a strong affiliation to nature and being able to express this through the collective with other like-minded artists has been an immense pleasure and privilege.

Head or Heart?

Head or Heart? Multimedia gouache, charcoal, conte sticks, 48x 72″, May 2021. (Curved spinal cord on purple gouache background with ambiguous hands holding heart and brain, darkness ebbing from bottom left corner)

Mortem en Metallica

Mortem en Metallica, multimedia installation (paper mâché, foraged foliage and flowers, white linen, acrylic paint) November 2021. (golden paper mâché ribcage lying on white linen surrounded by dried foliage and red roses)

I look forward to making it to campus one day soon and having the opportunity to meet and connect in real-time with the many brilliant peers and artists I have met remotely. I look forward to seeing how my practice evolves, changes, grows, and responds to my experiences over time. Art is ALIVE—a breathing entity, and I am a fond believer that what we feed and cultivate grows.”

A poem:

– ode to the sun
i wake at sunrise. i wake for sunrise. i wake with sunrise. i wake and marvel at
how something so quiet, so unapologetic, so musing, vibrant, ginger, warm, ensconcing
can wrap me up and let its energy flicker like that of an untamed candle
radial rotisserie star
reaching, stretching, dangle and glow
ember of the sky
i adore the way you laterally roll around the compass
greet me a gleaming spectacle of light
sheer magnitude and exuberance
shouldn’t look directly at you but i do it anyways because there is a certain thrill to be caught
in undoing limitations
stretching the truths
call it summer when you show your honeysuckle luminous face
radiant rhythmic clock
daily commutes from east to west
‘arc du ciel’
trailing the sky
do you ever bask in your own light? taste test the golden glow?
refract your own rays to ingest brilliance and warmth?
how you are always giving it out
never once asking for reimbursement
the photosynthesizers
beach dwelling
solar paneled public
careening your charisma
never once thinking about where it all came from
was it a recipe passed down through generations
2 scoops of stardust
and a pinch of the secret ingredient
i worry for you-
just know it’s okay to have damper days
the kind where you don’t shine
because only in your absence do i come to appreciate all that you are
-le soleil

Instagram: @artistic_allegories
Web work: Vegan Society of Canada