Ashman has developed strong themes within her practice based on the photographic image.
Ashman’s studies of deaf people signing, have led to work in which she addresses issues of religious faith, spirituality and emotion. Hands feature as a recurring theme in her images, whether re affirming positive qualities of human nature or as a means of expression.
The artist’s Japanese Dance series and A Time series was a result of working with Chisato Minamimura, a deaf choreographer and dancer. She performed improvised dance and a number of sequences of sign language. Margaret recorded her dances, sometimes using a hand-held camera, moving with the dancer and following her to capture each movement.
Ideas are developed digitally first and then made into metal plates in the workshop by a photo etching process; she etches steel plates with nitric acid, sometimes reworking the plates with scrapers and abrasives to bring more light in the final image.