“Art slows us down because we have to stop and spend time with it, not glancing or skimming… not looking for diversion.”
“When people remember, they remember the intensity of the moment and nothing else”. (Terence Davies).
His 1992 film, “The long day closes” took me straight back to my childhood years in a working class community in industrial West Yorkshire.
Dad not long back from WW2 seemed caught in shadow from which he hardly ever escaped. Home was a confined space of brown varnished wood, one solitary coal fire and an outside toilet. Hard work and ’soldiering on’, (my mother’s favourite phrase of encouragement), set the tone.
This dark palette of circumstance was balanced by freedoms children now cannot be allowed. Winters incarcerated by rain and snow relented into sunny summer bike rides into green spaces.
A post-war childhood had plenty of unstructured space.
With no access to current devices which had simply not been invented, imagination was essential and had lots of room to play. It’s now often said that children have no access to such space, so no chance of finding resources from within themselves if boredom strikes.
The intensity of the moment (op cit)
A 2014 review by Michael Koresky of Davies’ film describes 90 seconds of film he took at ground level, of ‘light dancing over the patterns of a rug’, and suggests that this offers us the child’s focus and concentration. It’s something we adults in this device ridden century may have forgotten the importance of.
Patterns feature strongly in much of my work. I believe they convey the power with which the subject and its environment has impacted upon me.
As a child imagination and play kept my spirit alive. Singing and movement were early ways of expressing this.
As an adult, in my years working as a psychotherapist, before making marks occurred to me, play continued. No maps or blueprints other than the ’training guidelines’ essential for good practice. Journeys were made by setting out and discovering.
This risk-taking practice that I follow has been recognised as ground breaking in the field of contemporary watercolour. In 2012, my work in that medium was compared to that of Helen Frankenthaler, and one gallery owner commented that he ‘had not ever seen anyone use watercolour in that way’.
Artists need support, and I was very grateful.
So my dance and music making continue in this 2 dimensional mark-making field. I hope you enjoy playing with what you see through your own imagination and feeling.
Ruth is largely self-taught, but over the years has also been mentored by
Julie Noad Oil Painter (Camberwell)
Geoffrey Pimlott, RWS (abstract watercolorist) https://www.royalwatercoloursociety.co.uk/artists/93-geoffrey-pimlott/biography/
Emily Ball https://emilyballatseawhite.co.uk
Cheryl Taves art coach, Canada. (Art coach) https://www.cheryltaves.com/coaching
Her work has been represented by:
Buckenham Galleries, Southwold
Grapevine Gallery, Norfolk
Appleyard Gallery, Holt, Norfolk
Flint Gallery, North Norfolk
Contemporary Art in Cambridge
Little Gallery, Norwich
Gallery in the Lanes, Norwich
Aubrey Gallery, Essex
Kunsthuis Gallery, Yorkshire
The Mall Galleries, London
Bankside Gallery (RWS), London
Pond, Quay and Maltings Galleries at Snape Maltings, Suffolk.
Gallery East, Woodbridge.