Exhibiting at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany until October 21st 2018.
Ruth Le Gear’s work uses experiential and geographic research to express the innate power of water. Recently, she has used a combination of lens-based media and installation to reflect on the concept of water memory.
This current exploration of the River Naab continues a vibrant strand of research into water as a source of cultural, experiential, and environmental power.
Ruth’s practice involves an engagement and meditation with the landscape, through the creation of water essences. This work is an exploration of one drop of water. This work has emerged from the outcomes of research, collaboration and fieldwork based around water and its potentials held within the River Naab .
Last October she attended a residency at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus to explore the waters of the Naab; and to create an essence from the waters of the river Naab.
Her curiosity about the nature of water and its potency for story, is based on a deepening understanding of water and its potentials.
The constant movement of the water, its undercurrents and flow forms are considered through a drop in a microscopic situation. In the exhibition the artist wishes to take the viewer on a fantastic voyage through water, showing us a hidden universe. Presenting the submerged underwater landscapes over layered with the meaning of the water remedy from the various sites of field investigations. Ruth has created essences from various water bodies, Arctic Icebergs, Irish lakes and Oceans, some of these essences are given to the waters of the Schwandorf and their potentials are also shown through video elements on screens. The waters of the Naab are projected in room 1.
In the videos and images shot in both macro and micro of the waters of the river Naab, are about focused awareness something that surrounds us all the time, of time passed but held in aquatic suspension.
The water essence created from the River Naab (collection date October 20th 2017) is an essence of movement and connection. The waters of this place are for those who are stuck in inertia, a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. It is also for those who are disconnected from life or ambivalent towards it. The colour associated with this essence is orange. Its purpose is movement and connection and its identity is on the physical plane. Its demon is fear. By taking or wearing this essence you begin to sensate, to explore the world and move.
The water essences from the west coast of Ireland are energetically entwined with this water, linked in their polarity. The artist travelled from place to place last year. The sea waters bring flow. It is an essence of the heart. This essence brings compassion, love and allows one to be more empathetic. The person in trauma who needs the Atlantic seawater essence is rejected, feels abandoned, loss, shame and constant criticism. This person can be very co-depdenant and stagnant. The colour associated with this essence is violet. Its demon is attachment. This essence brings peace, calm and balance.
There are a number of other Water Essences which were given to the river Naab, this is portrayed through the video works - Undercurrents – Atlantic Seawater - Alchemical Waters – Arctic Iceberg Waters - Trace – Polish waters from Nowy Port, Gdansk – Water Rights – New Mexico Desert - Water Senses – Glenade - Irish Lake Waters.
When Ruth make a water essence from a place, she always returns it to the waters it came from to give Thanks and Gratitude. This is always done in the form of a frozen sphere.
She was delighted to discover the ex-voto collection in the Stadmusuem, with the waters in glass orbs. An ex-voto is a votive offering to a divinity. It is given in fulfilment of a vow or in gratitude or devotion of everyday miracles. Water is an everyday miracle.
There are places where an old tradition of depositing ex-votos existed. Schwandorf is one of these places and they made an ex voto in glass with water orbs. To my knowledge this is quiet exceptional. The Stadmusuem of Schwandorf is very kindly lending the ex voto orbs to me for the exhibition and they will be placed along side orbs which Le Gear and her partner Graham Reid have made in glass this large glass orb contains waters of the river Naab.
Until Sunday, October 21, 2018