Ruth Phipps

Ruth PhippsRuth draws on the nature of fabric that is evocative and intensely personal in its ability to evoke living presence or absence. Her works explore different aspects of fragility, memory, and the transience of time. Heightened shadow and strong shafts of light illuminate detail and imbue a quiet suggestion of human presence, the stillness of the moment and the lingering suggestion of a treasured memory.

"I began looking at fabric as an expression of the most basic elements of what it means to be human, as a symbol of life and universal humanity, thinking about the way fabrics conceal and reveal. As I explored the folds and gathers of the fabrics and the negative space around the form, I became increasingly fascinated by the idea of what was hidden, forgotten, lost. It's as if the fabrics have power to suggest another place and time."

Traditionally, painted drapery is used to define the human form, to outline the body, follow its curves and define its mass, but when the human form is no longer apparent, the fabric itself becomes the means of communication, a language of suggestion, memory, desire. It may be just fabric, but it may also suggest the transient, the insubstantial and the immaterial. Cloth caught in movement acts like a performative gesture, seeming to oscillate in and out of the picture. Stilling the movement detaches the images from the continuity of time, the fluidity is arrested and the continuous sense of time is interrupted.