Ruth Hawkins

University College Northampton : BA Hons Fine Art

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Artist statement:

My work has originally evolved from taking photographs of a flytrap in an industrial kitchen. I then deveolped these
images through using photoshop, which helped to guide my painting and printmaking. My work was originally centered around ideas and feelings associated with being trapped, something which everyone experiences at some point during their lives in different situations. My concern was how I might go about provoking these emotions in the viewer.As my work has deveolped I have been working with and continue to work with a grid system taken from the flytrap and have created pieces using layering and stenciling techniques. I am and have experimented with the building up of surfaces, application of paint, the optical, transparency, depth, perspective, movement and colour and
it's effects on the spectator. >From researching spontaneity and rationality in relation to the act of painting itself; I have come to realise that the outcome of a painting is unpredictable, regardless of how much control you try to exert over your work. You may have a final image in mind and think that you can predict what
the work will look like when it is 'finished'. I think it is unwise to try and fully control the work; firstly because it is impossible to do that and secondly because too much control will only lead to sterility and deadness. In the same way, you can not be fully spontaneous in creating a piece, it is impossible, because even in
thinking about what colour you may use, you are being analytical, intellectual and rational. The painting has a
life of it's own, the artist in creating a work has to mix the rational and spontaneous, they have to let the work
talk back to them and realise that art has it's own hidden order.
I myself have had concerns about when to stop being rational and analytical and when to give into spontaneity
and where to leave the work. How do you decide that a piece is finished? You could argue that it never is because you could keep working on it. I think the answer to this is up to the individual.
My conclusions to rationality and spontaneity is to realise they both exist and can not exist without each other, (a
bit like everything in life) to be open to this realisation and to let the painting/work create itself. In my work I
decide and make certain rules for each painting or print, but never have a picture of the final result. I try to keep
that as unpredictable as I can. In this way I see the painting deveop as I add each layer and it remains a
mystery as to how it will look next. Of course I draw on my knowledge of colour, drawing and perspective, but I enjoy the way I get either a pleasant or not so pleasant result after each stage in the work. Each step is a suprise and an excitement.
In some of my pieces I combine texture - the spontaneous gestural mark with an ordered grid system over the top. This is to experiment with opposites and to see if order and chaos or intellect and rationality can work together in
the same piece. If one can not exist with out the other then is it not important to include both into your work?
Should there not be a balance of both?, especially if too much of one thing is never good for us anyway in life. I
have found that mixing these opposites creates depth and can confuse the eye. I would hope that my work will evoke some emotional or physical response in you the viewer.


Ruth Hawkins

University College Northampton : BA Hons Fine Art

For sales, commissions and to send comments to the artist.


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