ANGRY / WEIRD / CRIER / ILL / CHILL
Ruby is a 4th year Painting & Printmaking student at GSA and our final In-Studio artist for Semester 1! Find out what makes Ruby tick as she talks us through life being present in lifeless forms and what she misses most from being in studio whilst working from home.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you're based.
Hello!! Ruby here (she/her). I’m a Glasgow based artist (originally from Newcastle) studying painting/ printmaking at GSA in my final year (help). Can most commonly be found wandering the aisles at Lidl, listening to my music too loudly and getting angry at my phone for sending excessive audio exposure notifications.
What do you make & how do you make it?
I mainly make large oil paintings. Recently I’ve become really interested in combining digital imagery with painted imagery, painting over printed pictures to create a mixed environment. I normally begin planning the composition for paintings with collage, using found imagery from magazines/ newspapers and photos I’ve taken to create weird little scenes. I’ve always been fascinated by the physicality of meat/ flesh and am curious as to why I’m so attracted to it even though it’s super super gross, so my work has often revolved around this. However at the moment I’ve started to look at the life present in lifeless forms (rotting buildings, frozen spilled pickles, a scarf blowing in the wind whilst hanging off a climbing frame). Imagery of the slaughterhouse and grungy dungeons are always on my mind though.
What has been your biggest challenge to navigate?
Trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life (a challenge that I’m very much still navigating). Also the lack of studio/ workshop access this year has been really tricky as I had so many ideas that without the help of technicians just aren’t possible. I’m really not a crier but I cried about that. The lack of studios has also meant that I don’t see my mates as much which is the thing that honestly sucks the most (missing seeing their amazing work too).
How do you think your practice sits in today's context?
The triptych I’m now working on seems pretty relevant to the current circumstances (although not intentionally at first). It depicts the Stow building as a set for figures in hazmat suits, ill and diseased, the structure decaying just as much as its inhabitants. I didn’t mean for it to be COVID or politically relevant (GSA represented by Stow) however right now it’s become kind of appropriate. How GSA has dealt with everything Covid related has really exposed how poorly managed and organised the institution is and how frustrated all the students are. I’m thinking about titling it ‘The Institution that Rots’ or maybe that’s too political…Tee-hee…We shall see.
What's next on your practice-agenda? Goals, projects or any upcoming shows perhaps?
Going to try and finish my dissertation then hopefully I’ll make some more plans from there (or maybe I’ll just chill and attempt to complete this year without having too many breakdowns). Hopefully I’ll be making work to put towards a degree show although right now we don’t even know if a physical version of that is happening *cries*. Maybe I’ll figure out what I’m doing with my life at some point within the next year too, that would be super helpful…
Favourite studio food?
Biscuits! Once that pack’s open there’s no stopping me. Or Co-op’s jam doughnuts. Or a Greggs vegan sausage roll.
Something interesting you’ve seen this week?
A 10 man queue outside card factory. 2020 Christmas covid madness.
Final words of advice?
Don’t force yourself to work if you’re not in the mood. Always be confident in your work even if you think it’s shit (easier said than done I know). Try and stay in good spirits (again easier said than done, although if struggling just whack on some banging tunes that always sorts me out).