Ruth Hartley - Painter & Maker
BA (Art), PGCE (Art and Design), Diploma for Artists in Schools, City and Guilds Certificate Stage One Further Education, MA Women’s Studies (Video Dissertation)
“Art is the ritual rearrangement of dirt both physical and psychic to ameliorate death.”
I was born and went to school in Zimbabwe. I received my degree in Fine Arts at the Michaelis School of Art at Cape Town University. I learnt political action in Natal.
In the 60s, I left South Africa to seek asylum in London.
In the 70s I became a mother, wife and feminist in England.
In the 80s I worked in Zambia as teacher, art gallery director and economic migrant.
In the 90s I returned to the east of England to live, learn and paint.
I have always made art. I have constantly searched for direction, identity and method.
'La Chute' 'The Fall' L'église de Mazères, Castelnau Rivière-Basse, France 2010
‘The True History of my Past’ 31 Castle Lane Bedford 2006
‘RaItz, Rites, Rights' Leper Chapel, Cambridge 2005
‘In Memory’ Cambridge Arts Picture House 2004
Mpapa Gallery Lusaka Zambia 1995
Mpapa Gallery Lusaka Zambia 1980
'Réveillez vos Talents' Labatut-Rivière France 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Fête de Mazères. France 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Les Rencontres de Maubourguet 2013
Lechwe Trust Collection Exhibition National Gallery Zambia 2005
‘Cambridge Open’ Open Space Gallery, CRC 2001
‘Figures’ Stroud House Gallery, Stroud 2001
Suisho Gallery July 2000
‘It’s your Turn’ Kettle’s Yard July 2000
Suisho Millennium Exhibition, Cambridge, Dec .1999- Jan 2000
Peterborough Museum October 1999
Peterborough Arthouse April 1999
C Group Exhibitions Cambridge 1995, 1996, 1997
West Road Exhibition Cambridge1996
Abstract Expressions ‘Art space’ Ely 1996
Mbile International Artists Workshops Zambia 1993, 1994
Zambia National Women Artists’ Exhibition Lusaka 1994
Artists against Apartheid Mpapa Gallery Zambia 1987
National Art Exhibitions Zambia 1984, 1976
Open Studios, Cambridge and Bedford, England, UK
1999 - 2007
Zambia National Art Collection
Lechwe Trust Collection Zambia
HAMERA + HARTLEY
New Hall Cambridge 2008
HAMERA + HARTLEY
Fame, God, and Women. Deconstructing Damien Hirst
St Peter’s Cambridge 2007
“We invent ourselves as mythic beings but we are not certain of the existence of our souls.”.
Artistic creation has never mattered more to humanity than it does today.
It has never before taken so many varied forms and existed in so many different and ways and places in the world.
Yet it is as difficult as ever to survive as an artist. This is true in spite of the success of the tiny number of mostly male, artist millionaires, the global art market and the warehouses of art investments hidden away from view.
I myself discovered more about making art by working with struggling artists in Zambia than I learnt at art school.
Art must be made. Art must be seen. Art must be experienced.
Art need not be sold. Art need not be expensive. Art does not have to be costly to make. Art need not last for centuries but for seconds.
Art is made for love, to ask questions, to suggest solutions, to celebrate existence, to change the world – or simply to be beautiful, life-affirming and kind.
Art is a challenge. Freedom of expression is always under threat.
My art begins with myself not because I am wise or good but because this is the place from which I begin to understand the world. Art and politics are personal.
I offer my art to you, the viewer because it has no meaning without you.
Art is communication.
EXPLANATION OF WORK.
My art is an exploration of spirit embodied in flesh – of ideas expressed in pigment and line.
ONE – NEW WORK
WORK IN PROGRESS 'SURVIVING MONSTERS'
We are our own monsters and our own worst fears.
I am working on the idea of life as a road journey during which we encounter ourselves.
TWO – NEW WORK
WORK IN PROGRESS 'LIFE WORK'
“Death is the patron of the Arts.” Danny Abse
Mythologising ourselves from birth to death as a coherent story
BODY OF WORK
Rearranging ourselves inside our bodies
This completed work looks at the way we experience ourselves through our physicality. Each time it is shown it is rearranged
HAMERA AND HARTLEY 'FINDING FATHERS'
“I am in the father whom I carry” Hélène Cixious.
How a girl child constructs identity, culture and history through her father.
HAMERA AND HARTLEY 'M'OTHER ART'
Turning dirt into art makes it golden.
'THE 'TRUE' HISTORY OF THE BODY'
The emotional experience of the physical self...
'SPIDER WOMAN'. WWW.WOMAN.COM.