A Friend’s Appreciation
Ruth is an artist who uses a variety of mediums to capture urban surfaces. She has an insatiable interest in the variety and materiality of things. Her London studio contains collections of old and cracked graffiti acquired from the decaying urban environment, which contrast strongly with the environment of her residency at the Château de Sacy.
Executed on MDF and painted with acrylic paint, then covered with emulsion, the pieces are stacked on palettes while shimmering light seeps through the loft window, illuminating and dancing on the carefully crafted application of pantone hued planes. The sides of the work in turn reflect back the piece’s colours throughout the interior of the loft. Their intoxicating shades and forms contrast with the ruggedness of the loft at Sacy - interactions are facilitated by careful placement of the pieces in natural light.
The composition of the cubes started as a pristine and regimented arrangement, however this felt sterile and out of place in the rustic surroundings. From her observation in the grounds she saw stacks of firewood and brick. The idea of what might happen if one of these elements was pulled out from the bottom of the pile became the pivotal influence for the composition.
On a secondary level there was an intuitive logic that guided the composition based on the architectural space - the palettes aligning with the architectural features of the barn such as the door, beams and windows.
The funnels and plant pots used here as paint receptacles and the paint that flows from them reveal Ruth’s methodical yet playful approach to three-dimensional form.
I had the idea to make a piece of work using boxes and stacking them as a way of using smaller structures to create a larger monumental piece. I wanted the work to hold its own within the large loft space. The space therefore dictated the scale of the work. Within the rural grounds there are many things stacked, wood, bricks, tiles etc. The title ’tumble down’ comes from these stacks and how they might come undone.
The placement of the work was also dictated by certain architectural features. I wanted a view out of the window onto the courtyard as you walk around the piece. When attempting to deconstruct the work I realised I had subconsciously lined up the pallets with key features such as the steps up, windows etc. The use of the pallets began the week I had no wood to start the work, and began to use found things in order to create some structure out of anything I could find.
The colours I’ve used are found colours I came across locally. Plaster, rust, the colour of the paint work, poppy red, cornflower blue. My first thought was to go for neutral colours but I became like a kid in a candy shop. Each side became a different colour, one field of colour suggesting the next.
I have used, as well as the usual glass funnels, antique wine funnels, as paint receptacles. I have added terracotta pots as a reference to all the gardening that goes on around the grounds, in the gardens and in the kitchen garden.