Body adornment for the age of overconsumption
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.
The exhibition is coming next to Manly, Sydney
15 October – 28 November, 2021
MAGM – Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Manly, Sydney NSW
Sunday 17 October, 3 – 5 PM: Opening by Therese Kenyon and artist’s talk.
Saturday 23 October, 2 – 4 PM: Artist’s talk.
West Esplanade Reserve Manly. 5 minutes walk from Manly Ferry wharf. Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM.
Interested in hosting?
Galleries are welcome to contact Ruth about hosting the exhibition at their venue.