We tell ourselves stories all the time, about who we were, who we are, who we want to be. Yet we never tell the whole story. In the case of cultural history, the content and process of documenting have largely been the province of men. The result is a badly flawed half of a story.
Re|Visions is not simply about re-taking attendance, however. This body of work addresses what has slipped into the shadows, what got edited out, what was manipulated until, in many instances, it vanished altogether. It is about what happens when we start to recover the missing, to rediscover, reclaim, and regroup. It is about remaking the story, revising the documentation and the books, the archives, the man-made history, which has failed to represent fifty percent of our creative legacy.
So, what of the women creators who contributed to and influenced culture: the painters, sculptors, photographers, poets, novelists, and playwrights? Look again. They are there. They are with us still . . .
Re|Visions, up to its first showing in fall 2017, has been a multi-year journey of discovery and rediscovery. The series currently consists of 120 portrait-and-biography diptychs, and several large portraits. A combination of text and image, from a broad range of sources, references representations. The work questions perceptions and the accepted version of our creative legacy, by examining the skewed nature of biography, the portrait, literary and art history, as well as an artist’s sense of herself as creator.
Through research, gathering, manipulation, layering, the weaving of paper, and the stitching of thread, Re|Visions scrambles what we think we know. It shifts the view to offer a re/vision, in order to spur questions, to reveal the flaws and inadequacies of the current story, to re-see, rather than blindly accept as accurate, our text and image inheritance, as well as the legacy we leave behind.
Look again. We are here . . .
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“The tuck and bob of the weaving process elicits fresh ambiguous forms. These decussating strands produce deformed shifts in meaning, that are simultaneously filled with subtle grace and resounding psychological charge.” — Olex Wlasenko, Curator, Station Gallery
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The exhibition at Station Gallery also included five large portraits, as well as a series of altered book objects entitled, Footnotes (shown, in part, below).
Re|Visions “is a massive engagement for the eye and mind … which demands time, which demands distance. It took time and distance to make and all of that is present in the work. To fully understand this show one needs to give it what it asks. It is not something delivered on your terms.” — Will McGuirk, SlowCity.ca (Read the full article.)
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For more insights into Re|Visions, read “Unravelling Strands, Reweaving History: An Interview with Ingrid Ruthig” by Anastasia Hare, Communications and Development Manager at Station Gallery.
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© 2 0 1 8 I N G R I D R U T H I G . A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D
The artist gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.