Barely Wearable

National Exhibition Register

  • A very close shave
    Ruth Downes A very close shave, 2019
    Medium
    disposable razors
    Dimensions
    680 x 270 x 30 mm

About the exhibition

This body of work is a continuation of Ruth Downes’ passion for reappropriating everyday materials and objects to celebrate their intrinsic beauty. Materials for these thirty ‘wearable’ artworks have been gleaned from a diverse range of sources – from aircraft headsets to coffee capsules. Detritus from nature has also been salvaged to be re-born as a fashion statement.

By reimagining these materials she has created works that transcend their utilitarian function, casting them in a fresh light. The works question our accepted values and how we award status by projecting these everyday materials into the realm of art. They have a preciousness that confounds our expectations irrespective of their humble origins. This is much more than a simple ‘up-cycling’ exercise - Downes has an acute awareness of the potential of these materials. Her trademark humour also runs as a thread throughout the exhibition adding a further dimension.

These 3D works are mounted on a spectrum of coloured ellipses (350 – 750mm high) with several ‘busting out’ on mounted body forms. Some works are augmented by photo portraits of models (of varying sizes and gender) attempting to make them wearable. 

Artists and Curator

Curator
Katherine Roberts, Manly Art Gallery & Museum
Artists

Ruth Downes

This area of sculptural exploration has been an ongoing obsession as was visible in Downes' previous exhibitions. ‘Tea Party in the Mayoral Garden’ (2001 - 2010) won the inaugural NGA Sculpture Prize 'People's Choice Award' then toured to New York and Washington, followed by an extensive Australian touring program. The follow up exhibition ‘Lunch for the Trades’ (2007 - 2010), also toured by Manly Art Gallery & Museum, travelled to many regional galleries in NSW and Queensland. Ruth has had a parallel career in design and public art. This has included commissions for site specific 2D and 3D public art works.

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/02/2020 - 30/11/2022
Exhibition size
Under 50 sq or running metres
Originating state
NSW
Organised by
Manly Art Gallery & Museum
Price
Contact to discuss
Web Site
http://ruthdownes.com.au/
Accompanying materials available
Exhibition Tour Manual, Installation Support Available, Labels, Public Program Opportunities, Signage
Other materials
Saleable neckpieces and brooches
Primary contact
Ruth Downes
Phone
+61 418 250 197
E-mail
ruthdownes@ozemail.com.au
Secondary contact
Geoff Webster - Tour Manager
Phone
+61 418 295 855
E-mail
geoffwebster@ozemail.com.au
Acknowledgement
Toured by Manly Art Gallery & Museum