Ruth Downes A very close shave, 2019
- disposable razors
- 680 x 270 x 30 mm
Ruth Downes Tickle the ivories (left); "Out Damned Spot" (middle); A very close shave (right) , 2018 - 19
- mixed media
- all mounted on 750mm high elliptical discs
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
- Katherine Roberts, Manly Art Gallery & Museum
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
- Available dates
- 01/02/2020 - 30/11/2022
- Exhibition size
- Under 50 sq or running metres
- Originating state
- Organised by
- Manly Art Gallery & Museum
- Contact to discuss
- Web Site
- Other materials
- Saleable neckpieces and brooches
- Primary contact
- Ruth Downes
- +61 418 250 197
- Secondary contact
- Geoff Webster - Tour Manager
- +61 418 295 855
- Toured by Manly Art Gallery & Museum