Approved: 16.08.2006

Ruth Spencer

Artist, Art historian, Project manager, Lecturer / academic

Approved: 16.08.2006

Concepts
Video stills from surveillance cameras of commercial spaces have been used to create urban narratives in paintings such as Mezzanine and Break. In Bermingeman to Birmingham, a site-specific piece for Birmingham Central Library, I created a work which used 141 recorded spellings of Birmingham from the archives as a line of words which threaded through all floors of the library on the

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  • Location: Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Activities: Higher education, Training delivery, Visual arts consultancy, Project management
  • Categories: Installation, Painting
 

Biography

Concepts Video stills from surveillance cameras of commercial spaces have been used to create urban narratives in paintings such as Mezzanine and Break. In Bermingeman to Birmingham, a site-specific piece for Birmingham Central Library, I created a work which used 141 recorded spellings of Birmingham from the archives as a line of words which threaded through all floors of the library on the glass sides of the escalators to reflect the part played by the library in transmitting knowledge and the fluid nature of its transmission. The importance of light and shadow in enabling us to understand physical spaces we occupy is something I have explored initially in floor pieces and then in more encompassing floor and wall installations.The pieces are intended to relate to the space for which they are created in physical and cultural terms. The intention is to create light shadows that initially appear appropriate but undermine the viewers expectations and understanding of the space. In more recent work I have concentrated on images of light and shadow in painting and photography, particularly interiors and spaces that involve levels of transparency and opacity. Influences Aesthetic/Formal concerns, Culture, European, Career path I have supported my artistic practice by teaching and have acquired qualifications which have allowed me to do that. After completing a Fine Art degree, I initially worked in New York with a theatre group and on my return to England, I then completed a Postgraduate Certificate of Education at Warwick University and an MA in History of Art and Design at Birmingham City University. Whilst working part-time at Birmingham City University, I completed an MA in Fine Art in 1995 and had a one-person show in Birmingham. After this I exhibited in a series of group exhibitions in London, Oxford, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cheltenham and Tours, France. I have been the Chair of the Board of Birmingham Artists in 1993 and a Director for four years. During that time I liased with the Council over the conversion of a number of industrial suites into studio spaces for Birmingham artists. In 1999 I was awarded a Creative Ambition award by West Midlands Arts. In 2003 I project managed an Italian English exchange which culminated in four exhibitions in Birmingham, Milan, Brescia and Rozzano. In 2004 I project managed with Maria Gaete Gwynne, a Spanish English collaboration with Museo Barjola,Gijon Spain and Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham culminating in an exhibition Espacio/Space involving four Spanish women artists and four English women artists. Involved in the initial setting up of the National Federation of Artists Studio Providers an organisation dedicated to supporting the development of affordable artists' studios, and served on the board for four years. More recently involved in setting up an artists's studios in the centre of Birmingham, Birmingham Artspace, with eleven artists working in the city.

CV & Education

Solo exhibitions 2012 - Ruth Spencer & Caroline Hall, Granary Gallery, Western Park Foundation, Western Park, UK 2004 - Photoworks, The Crown, Islington, , London 1994 - Touched, The Bond Gallery, Birmingham Group exhibitions 2012 - Elements, Quad, Derby 2007 - Virtual, Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK 2006 - Virtual, Ernst and Young, Birmingham, Birmingham, UK 2006 - What do people do all day?, Mailbox, Birmingham, 2004 - Blue Skies, Selected by Jonathan Watkins and Sadie Plant, Custard Factory, Birmingham 2004 - Espacio/Space, Museo Barjola, Gijon,, Spain 2003 - Repertorio, Brecht Gallery, Milan, Brescia, Rozzano, Italy, 2002 - Bookworks, Birmingham Central Library, Birmingham 1999 - Hidden Meanings, Apt Gallery, London 1998 - Hidden Meanings, Workstation, Sheffield 1998 - Take Five, Axion Gallery, Cheltenham 1996 - Three Cities Art Show,, Oxford,Custard factory, Tours Station, Oxford, Birmingham,Tours,France 1993 - 2nd City Art Show, Burlington Arcade, Birmingham 1993 - Art For Sale, Whiteley, London 1991 - Under One Roof, Midland Art Centre, Birmingham 1990 - Gas Hall, Birmingham 1990 - Midland Art Centre, Birmingham 1989 - Gas Hall, Birmingham