Several of my works are in museum collections in the UK
Memorial Sampler, 2017-18
Purchased by Gawthorpe Textile Collection following my Emotional Repair exhibition at Gawthorpe Hall in 2018.
It can be healing to preserve and remember the names of those loved and lost, and have them shared and seen. This stitched memorial includes the names of my own loved ones and many more gathered from members of the public, friends and family. I am honoured to have so many personal stories of love and loss shared with me in the making of this piece. I think of each person as I stitch in their name, memorialising them alongside so many others. After this exhibition, this piece will become part of the Gawthorpe Textile Collection. I feel it is very powerful that this piece will be part of a museum collection in the venue where it was first exhibited and where many visitors donated their loved ones’ names.
Antique mourning handkerchief, hand embroidery. 2018-2019
Repeat Offender, 2018
Purchased by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council for the collections of The Brampton Museum. This piece is part of Criminal Quilts and was purchased for this collection because the woman featured was from Newcastle-under-Lyme.
This quilt is made from screen printed cloth using an image created from this 1897 photograph of Agnes Herrity. She was photographed (on release from prison) five times between 1897 and 1910. She lived in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.
Agnes clearly had a hard life, living in slum housing and making a meagre living. She was convicted regularly of drunkenness, theft and assault.
I have used screen printing because it uses photographic process which reflects the historic photographs. The use of repeating images refers to Agnes’ repeated prison sentences.
Screen printed by hand on modern linen, antique printed cotton, vintage cotton and new cotton hand printed with marbling design taken from the endpapers of one of the prison albums. It is backed with an old shawl, reminiscent of those seen in many of the photographs.
Court Hands, 2011
Commissioned by Shire Hall Gallery in 2011 and purchased by Staffordshire County Council in 2012.
They are the first Criminal Quilts pieces made, kick-starting several years of work. They were displayed in the Shire Hall, alongside the courtroom, until closure in 2017. Some of these have also been on display in Staffordshire Record Office and in touring exhibitions.
These miniature quilts were inspired by the photos of women prisoners with their hands on their chests, and in particular the clothing which you can see in the photos. I also took inspiration from the Shire Hall building colours and textures including the courtroom and the cells. The techniques include trapunto quilting, hand embroidery, machine quilting, digital printing, fabric manipulation and reverse appliqué.
Ruth Singer, 2011-12.