I’m pleased to be showing a couple of pieces in the Leicester Open exhibition 15 December 2018 until 2 February 2019 at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.
I’m pleased to be taking part in the Leicester Print Workshop members exhibition this year. I am working in collaboration with Gillian McFarland to produce a changing artwork installation which will develop from week to week as we share ideas, develop and pass things to and fro and create new pieces inspired by two found objects.
The exhibition opens this weekend (17th-18th November) with the Print Festival and Gillian and I will be giving at talk on Saturday 17th November at 4pm about our work. There is also an exhibition preview on Friday 23rd November – details below. The exhibition continues until 26th January 2019.
Gillian McFarland and Ruth Singer work in collaboration as McFarland & Singer alongside their distinct and established solo artistic practices. They began working together in 2014 while sharing a studio; a space that allowed them to share ideas and approaches. In addition to the work created for this residency, McFarland & Singer have a strong convergence of interest around the archaeology of stains and marks of time.
This work is an ongoing collaboration, passing to and fro between us as we each explore related, but separate ideas. The piece begins with two found objects from a charity shop which we both respond to initially, through discussion and making alongside each other. This work will change every week as we add new prints and related pieces of work. This work is displayed in file trays to represent the orderly collation and separation of ideas. Feel free to take the pieces out of the trays and move them around and change the order. We will use this intervention and selection as part of the process of making new pieces each week.
I am pleased to be showing a group of new work in the annual exhibition of Leicester Society of Artists at New Walk Museum, Leicester. This group was previously shown in my solo exhibition Emotional Repair.
The exhibition opens 9th November – 8th December.
Traces 1 – Blind Embossing on paper
Traces 2 – Monoprint on paper
Traces 3 – Textile
I believe this tray cloth was made by my paternal grandmother who died before I was born. I have recorded and preserved the stitching using printing techniques before unpicking the colourful embroidery and leaving just the traces of needle marks and thread shadow behind. By reworking my grandmother’s work I hope to give it a new life, a new meaning. The processes I use to make these pieces honour the invisible traces of textile inheritance my grandmother left me.
These works are for sale from the museum during the exhibition.
Traces 1 – Blind Embossing on paper £300 framed.
Traces 2 – Monoprint on paper £350 framed.
Traces 3 – Textile £500 framed.
Suffrage is a new exhibition at Llantarnam Grange Art Centre focusing on textile art and political expression to mark the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage. I am one of the exhibiting makers alongside Morwenna Catt, Eleanor Edwardes, Caren Garfen, Rozanne Hawklsey and Sue Shields. The exhibition opens Saturday 6th October 2018.
My piece, Prison Apron, explores the prison sentences of suffragettes, expressed through stitch. Over the last year I have been reading accounts of suffragettes in prison for my project Criminal Quilts and considering the bravery of those women who knew their actions would inevitably lead to prison sentences. Over 1000 people, mostly women, were imprisoned for criminal activity related to suffrage campaigning in the early 20th century. You can also find out more about the exhibition in the online catalogue. I will be at the exhibition preview on Saturday 6th October in conversation with the curator and other artists. I am also running a professional development day for makers at the gallery on 20th October. The exhibition continues until 17th November 2018.
Recently, I have become very interested in using data as a way of telling a story. For me, using data allows me to step back from the personal story and away from the more obvious interpretations to find a new route into the narrative I am exploring. I have chosen to work with prison sentence data to create this piece, looking at sentence records of women including the famous Pankhursts, Alice Hawkins from my home town of Leicester and Welsh women including Lady Rhondda and lesser-known Kate Evans.
The apron is an antique piece, selected for its similarity to those seen in prison photographs and descriptions I have read in documents. Prison clothing was marked with painted-on arrows to show the items belonged to the government. Rather than paint on these arrows, I have hand stitched them on using threads in shades of grey.
I have taken a series of prison sentences imposed upon suffragettes, ranging from 7 days to 9 months as the starting point for this work and created arrows using one stitch per day in prison. Each sentence is a different thread. One of the arrows is made up of 270 stitches of a single 9 month prison sentence, while the others are made up of numerous shorter sentences served by different women.
The stitch is hand embroidered chain stitch, a symbolic choice, where each single stitch forms a connected chain which completes the whole. There are a total of almost 1000 individual stitches in this piece, representing the 1000 individuals sent to prison. Hand stitching, and the slow, careful work it involves, reflects the time spent in prison doing repetitive labour including needlework.
Llantarnam Grange Art Centre
St David’s Road
Torfaen NP44 1PD
Tel: 01633 483321
Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5pm
(Closed Bank Holiday Mondays)
Saturday 9.30am – 4pm
Admission is free
Tacit – Made in Leicestershire contemporary craft exhibition at LCB Depot 17th-29th September.
My first co-curated contemporary craft exhibition is now open! On Friday I installed Tacit – Made in Leicestershire exhibition at LCB Depot in Leicester. I am working for Creative Leicestershire as a consultant on the Made in Leicestershire brand development and putting together this exhibition and events programme is part of that process. It has been a delight to work with so many brilliant Leicestershire makers and to discover new ones selected by co-curator Jo Keogh. The exhibition is only up for a short time until 29th September with a couple of events next week for makers and for visitors to meet the makers.
Exhibition details here along with studio shots of the makers’ work. Late evening preview event is on Facebook. Leicestershire-based professional artists and makers are invited to a Makers Gathering on Thursday 27th Sept hosted by me for Made in Leicestershire.
I’ve installed two exhibitions in the space of 10 days so my tool box is well-used and I’m all out of cup hooks and glass cleaner. In my previous career I curated and developed museum exhibitions and have worked on a lot of craft exhibitions too over the years. I really enjoy this kind of work, though having help with the ladders, drilling and lifting from LCB staff was great – I’ve had to go up scaffolding to install things before and it wasn’t my favourite thing. Tacit has been an interesting, if very rushed, project to work on. The exhibition concept was developed by LCB Depot in the summer and they asked me to select makers and sort out installation. Jo Keogh (one of the artists) also found a group of emerging makers with new work I didn’t know about so the exhibition is really varied. I really enjoy mixed material exhibitions more than single material – I love to see my work alongside ceramics, glass and metals rather than just textile. It gives all the work a new perspective.
Festival of Quilts is just around the corner! I am scrambling to get my book finished and printed ready for the show, alongside a massive exhibition gallery for Criminal Quilts including older and brand new work, including the collaboration quilt. I also have a piece in the Fine Art Quilt Masters competition exhibition again, which is all very exciting. Most of my teaching slots have sold out but there are still a few spaces left on Sunday’s Intro to Corded Quilting workshop. I also have a discount code for day ticket bookings for £13.50 (normally £16) which includes a little something for me so please do use this code if you are booking online. Enter the code WT75 when you book.
Today marks my 13th anniversary as full-time self-employed! My work has changed so much in that time from the early days making cushions, then wall panels, then finally settling down in 2009-10 to something more like the kind of work I make now. Along the way there have been books, kits, patterns, Ruth Singer Studio, teaching and masses more. It’s been a wonderful time and I have never regretted the leap I made 13 years ago to pursue this adventure, although there have been more than a few diversions and hiccups along the way. Wedding dresses….really? What was I thinking?!
There are a couple of review posts from the last couple of years on my blog which I have enjoyed reading today and even looked at a few (boring) posts from as far back as 2006 when I started blogging!
Here and now in 2018 my work is going incredibly well, it kind of astonishes and amazes me when I step back and consider. I’ve just taken down a major solo exhibition and I have another in just a few weeks. It is wonderful and exhausting in equal measure. And I have a book to continue writing this afternoon, so no more self-indulgence, just carrying on working hard like I have been doing for all those years!