Ruby is a British artist who spent the month of a snowy March at our residency.
“My practice is focused on depicting personal mythology that explores the changing and surreal landscapes found in dreams, working primarily in painting and drawing. The documentation of organic material has become its own practice, as this research not only feeds the creation of my work but has encouraged a newfound fascination for the traditional wisdom that encases the nature of plants, forests and land. Influenced by this, and the folklore that surrounds both plants native to the landscape I’m settled in, alongside the history pertaining to that area, these topics are conveyed through the use of symbolism in my works.”
Accompanying the study of natural flora and its myth is the depiction of women whose narratives are centric to my works; firstly representations of an emotion personified, these figures are part of the landscape and are variations of a painted woman battling the obscure war of a violent nature, instead of abiding with it. As traditional archetypes would have once shown them. They are now appreciations of significant women within folklore or my own personal mythology. Much like that of witches, Mother Nature and creatures like Jenny Greenteeth are portrayed in storybooks.
These characters are pictured in imaginary landscapes that capture an essence of where I have once been physical, combined with the elusive and surreal dreamscape – which explores a darker narrative personal to my own healing, both mental and physical. My perception of an environment changes when I search for particular aspects, as the concept of a close experience, engaging with the environment, guides most of the decisions I make when creating new works.
“Living in Stöðvarfjörður was an opportunity to create a new body of work inspired by the Icelandic landscape, folklore and mythology; using the natural resources around me to their fullest potential. The difference between the city and the pastoral setting of East Iceland was a breath of relief, as I often feel closed in by the all-consuming humdrum of city life.
The Fish Factory itself was in an excellent location, and each day I was excited to spend time in the studio space alongside the other artists in residence, who are all wonderful people. Having somewhere to work this month was highly encouraging as I had arrived during a period of ‘art block’ after spending the last year or so as a student without a studio space, and being at the Factory instilled a new sense of energy in me. It was a time I’m unlikely to ever forget and I’ll miss the landscape, the Factory and the people I met during my stay.”