Ashley Walters completed his BAFA (2011) and a Masters in Fine Art (2013) at the University of Cape Town, where he was the recipient of a number of prestigious awards and scholarships, including the Michaelis Prize (2011) and Tierney Fellowship Award (2013). Subsequent to this he completed an exchange at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (2013), and was awarded an Apexart Fellowship (2015) in New York. Commissioned by Magnum Foundation his work has been featured widely in publications such as Laying Foundations for Change, Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, and Aperture magazine: Platform Africa, Summer 2017 edition (#227). Walters has taken part in a number of international exhibitions in Bamako, London, Germany, New York, and exhibited his photographs widely within South Africa.
Walters’ work protagonizes a subjective and critical approach to the behaviors and processes of urban life in the city and its periphery. In his investigation of these regulated spaces, he explores how physical borders, surveillance and political hierarchies assert boundaries within society, forming micro-cosmisms of control and creating internal conflict within communities. Working in photography, video and sculpture his work tells of an interest in the everyday and public space in its least predictable dimension. Wavering between absolute complicity with his subjects and distant observation, his body of work emphasizes a non-spectacular representation of reality. Whereas some images provide tableaus of intimate, inhabited spaces, others render non-territories that bespeak of up-rootedness, scarring, anxiety, liminality and trauma.