Ruth Downes Barely Wearable:


Exhibition dates: 12 March - 26 April 2020 NOW extended until 14 June 2020

Opening event Friday 13 March at 6pm. Entry $10 adults, $7 Friends members

Ruth Downes

Barely Wearable: body adornment for the age of over-consumption

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 (35 – 75cm high) with several ‘busting out’ on mounted body forms. The works are augmented by photographs which reveal varying degrees of wearability.

Image Credit: Ruth Downes A very close shave, 2019 disposable razors. Image courtesy of the artist