"My figurative work is now entirely dedicated to depicting a very disregarded perspective of the body - one which could be called the "primal view": looking down at your actual, physical body in front of you. Relying so heavily on mirrors or photographs - both second-hand intangible reflected images of the body - to make sense of our physical selves, instead of looking at the real thing, is arguably what has led to the stroking or destroying of the ego over many decades.
My abstract work investigates the experiences the body has in the wider context of its various and current homes, environments and spaces: the womb, the natural world, the digital world, the planet. Our bodies have an interesting relationship with vital and powerful elements of the Natural World (particularly water), yet with the body at the service of the mind - consumed and distracted by the loves, harms and indulgences of the Western world - the experiences of this relationship are often neglected. How we treat this relationship over the next decade, in the face of climate change, will probably test some of our most primal human instincts - fear, survival, power and protection. My work seeks to voice this non-verbally."
Ruth Fox explores how we see and experience the body. Her abstract and figurative works often dissect for the viewer what we actually see but rarely look at - fragments of our own physical form in line, shape and contour - and that which we wrestle with - a whole body image often seen via a simulation of the body (a mirror or a photograph) which comes with a whole backstory of social, ethical, cultural and often judgemental baggage, as well as body identity hierarchies we have learned throughout our own individual and collective histories.
Conceiving that the body is a home, both familiar and foreign, the body is a space which we permanently inhabit. In addition to her figurative works, Ruth also explores this idea through installation and sound works. Her installation works perceive the experience of operating and being inside a body, as well as abstract paintings that investigate the body in relation to Nature and our collective species, looking recently at how water binds both the human body and Nature. Her sound art explores the body's sounds as its experience. These include the touch of skin, the breath and the heartbeat, with her latest work honouring the body's release of pain and grief through (the sound of) tears. The sounds are used as instruments to create compositions with collaborative composers and musicians, and attempt to relay the fluid interchange of unity and conflict between mind and body.
In Nov 2018, Ruth Fox was invited to give a TEDx talk at Royal Holloway University, which was published on the TEDx YouTube channel: 'How to Rebel Against Body Image Idealism.'
Ruth Fox grew up in Hertfordshire in the UK before moving to London for 15 years. She now lives in Margate, Kent and works from her studio at home.
Forging the Self, 4-artist exhibition about the body, The Koppel Project, Soho, London, 24th April - 30th May, 2020
Ladies of the Ville Art Fair, Joseph Wales Gallery, Margate, 2nd - 3rd May (founder and exhibiting artist)
Symphony of Salt, sound artwork release on vinyl, Margate/London 2020
MEMORIA, Performance & body installation, Margate/London, 2020
Returning Now, group show featuring artists in residence from 2018 - 19, Gordon House Margate - Nov - Dec
Collective Disturbance curated by Ruth Fox, group show, Gordon House Margate (also exhibiting) - Sept
Art Car Boot Fair 'LOVE', Dreamland, Margate, Sept
Naked Pieces of You project & How You See Me, How You Don't - solo exhibition, 4 Mason's Yard, London, Apr
POW Festival, Thanet: WOMB ROOMS for Empower - group show, Pie Factory, Margate, March
POW Festival, Thanet: EXSOLVO film and performance, with The JAM Network and The Natashas Project for Empower, group show, Pie Factory, Margate, March
How You See Me, How You Don't - solo show, Pie Factory, Margate, Feb
Art Car Boot Fair, ANTI FACTORY: Womanufacture project, London, Dec
TEDx talk, 'How to Rebel Against Body Image Idealism' - Royal Holloway University - Nov
Sounds of My Skin + Body Fragments, solo Fringe project - Deptford X Festival, Fringe, Sister Midnight Records, London, Sept
Art Car Boot Fair, Kings Cross, London, Sept
Breath: Fear and Medicine, Gordon House Margate Artist in Residence & joint exhibition with composer, Anna Westin, Margate, Aug
Art Below Frieze Week project, group show - Art Below, Le Dame Gallery; Regent's Park Underground, Oct
A Most Awkward Divide (All Mind, No Body) solo show - Gallery 46, Whitechapel, Sept
Fascination of Art and Colour - travelling group exhibition with Enter Into Art via galleries in Germany: Cologne, Diez & Nassau, Feb - Jun 2016
Ruth Fox trained in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins before going on to Exeter University to gain a degree in English and Cultural Studies
“Ruth demonstrates some remarkably unique approaches and techniques when it comes to expressing and representing the human form and the experiences of the body - from her drawing and her mixed media works through to her installation and sound art.”
Dr. Lucy Lyons, Lead Tutor in Anatomy and Art at UCL, Drawing Professor at Margate School part of ESADHaR,
Tutor in Drawing Research and Painting at City & Guilds of London Art School