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Transcript of Ruth Power
speaking through porcelain
Ruth Power is an emerging artist/designer from Dublin, Ireland. She is a recent graduate from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin; receiving a First Class Honors in her degree show/thesis. Ruth Power creates sculptures with social and political concepts and also designs jewellery and other craft items which she sells regularly at craft markets.
Alot of Ruth power's work is based on the distortion of sexuality and the pornography industry. she says..
"My work is strongly political and symbolic, inspired by the invention of Japanese tentacle pornography.Tentacle pornography has been around for centuries, but only became hugely popular in 1980. It was illegal to show couples taking part in sex but it was perfectly legal to show tentacle rape. This contradiction of censorship fascinated me. "
I took casts of my own body parts. We are conditioned to hate our own bodies, and I have chosen to exhibit mine to defy any body-shame that I have. The pieces are pure white, conveying the pressure on girls and women to act ‘sexy’, but not to have sex. I chose to portray my body in cut up parts, echoing the way in which the media de-humanizes women into mere body parts to sell products in our culture. The body parts are left unglazed; raw and vulnerable.
Future Makers Award 2011
Commended Thesis Award (NCAD), 2011
'Pick of the Pad' Award, Issue 3 (StudentsZINE; Ireland's leading zine for contemporary arts), 2011
CAST Ltd Award for a work of distinction in any medium for foundry costs to the value of 1,250 euro for casting a work in bronze (Sculpture in Context, 2011).
'People's Choice Award' (Emerging Artist Exhibition 2011), Second Place.
When illuminated, the body of the pieces looks like vellum(or calf skin), symbolizing the way in which women are treated like pieces of meat in our society. In order to achieve translucency, the porcelain pieces are extremely thin. Tentacles are also placed behind the piece in order to create tentacle silhouettes. The tentacles are hand-built with each sucker placed on individually.
Despite the rather grim conceptual content of my work, aesthetics are important to me. I am fascinated by the conflicting reactions my work evokes; some shudder, some think it is beautiful.Perhaps, in this culture, something needs to be beautiful in order to be heard. I hope that the boxed work and the tentacles metaphorically draw the viewer in to possibly discover one of the issues that my work addresses. I aim to provoke discussion and debate with my work on urgent issues that I find are often overlooked.
Breasts (Cephalophilia), 2011, 48cm wide x 42cm long x 14cm deep; porcelain, LED light, cord, plug, wooden box with black paint and flocked interior (Black and white image)
Change in Material
Ruth originally started with earthenware but later switched to porcelain. she said that she felt the porcelain captured what she was trying to say better and helped her learn more because it was so challenging to work with.
Two faces (Cephalophilia), 2011, 33cm wide x 34cm long x 14cm deep; porcelain, LED light, cord, plug, wooden box with black paint and flocked interio
Masks (Cephalophilia), 2011, porcelain, wooden box with black paint and flocked interior.
Neck / shoulder (Cephalophilia), 2011, 43cm wide x 37cm long x 14cm deep; porcelain, LED light, cord, plug, wooden box with black paint and flocked interior.