Ruth Barker is a Glasgow based artist who works with text, performance, and installation.
Her practice uses a strange poetry to throw autobiographical sketches together with echoes of humanity’s oldest stories. Reflecting theoretical ideas of connectivity and finitude, Barker works between written text and spoken word, often recounting her complex prose-poems from memory as live performances. Her practices, on first examination, foreground the artist’s own daily experiences and the quotidian narratives of life as a mother-of-two in contemporary Scotland (nappies and pushchairs, shopping lists from Lidl, Hovis bread with cut crusts, stubbled legs and the TV news). However, the work is underpinned by the larger, longer stories of our own mortality, our sense of self, and our unconscious internalisation of ancient myth. Barker’s performance poems are hypnotic, ritualised, events, often accompanied by lavish costume or unconventional locations. Her words are layered in structure and intensity, and use repetition, mnemonic, and moments of unexpected humour. Barker’s exhibition practice uses installation, audio recordings, scripts, and sometimes chaotic assemblages to draw the essence of a performed work into a staged re-encounter with the artist’s voice.
Ruth Barker is represented by the Agency Gallery, London; theagencygallery.co.uk
Ruth Barker, Jasper Coppes, Alan Currall, Sarah Forrest, Susan Brind, Jim Harold, Shona Macnaughton, Duncan Marquiss, Shauna McMullan, and Joanna Peace
A collaboration between ten artists and the National Trust for Scotland, Cabinet Interventions interrogates the role of material culture in defining place. In post-Brexit Scotland, how might often-contested identities and histories be articulated through institutions such as the Trust?
In 2017 the artists spent time in residence at Pollok House, exploring the cultural, political, historical, ecological and sensorial context of the site. This exhibition draws upon that research and dialogue to present sound, film, sculpture, text and performance.
Supported by The Royal Society of Edinburgh and Glasgow School of Art.
Fri 20 April – Mon 7 May
Mon – Sun, 10am-5pm