This website is a celebration of art and artists. There will be a regular featured artist that is not neccesarily well-known, just individuals who would like their visual art/craft displayed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ruth Carneson

Ruth Carneson was born in Cape Town and grew up there.

She went into exile when she was 14 and lived in Britain for 24 years where she obtained a BA Honours in Visual Arts. She exhibited extensively in Britain as well as producing cards, calendars and posters of her work.

She worked as a visiting artist in schools where she used art as means of exploring human rights issues.

For a short period she taught at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania.

In 1991 she returned home to South Africa and in 1997 she went to live on Robben Island, initially as an Artist in Residence. She continued to live and work on the Island for the following ten years.

IN 2007 she moved back to the mainland and has a studio in Muizenberg, located on the False Bay side of Cape Town.

The ANC used her “struggle art” for marketing on T-shirts, posters, and cards.

Her recent works have been autobiographical installations where she has combined text with visual images, artefacts and sound. These were exhibited at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Waterfront and at the Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town as part of the Voyage Ensemble Exhibition.

In May 2008, Ruth Carneson, as part of Voyage Ensemble, represented South Africa at the HIFA Festival of Determination in Harare, Zimbabwe.

She also held a very successful exhibition in March 2008 at the Lindbergh Arts Foundation.

In October 2008 she was part of a Thupelo “Found Objects” workshop and group exhibition at Greatmore studios in Woodstock, Cape Town.

She says: “Art is as natural as breathing."

"The creative process is a healing one and has helped me through difficult times. It is a magical space where unexpected things happen, where I play with shape, colours and surprising images. It is a place where I do not have to prove anything, where things unfold naturally, exploring without judgment.

The themes in my work are intensely personal as well as social and political. It is trying to make sense of the horror that we perpetrate against each other, the contradictory images media feed us about war, how we cope with it, and the absurdity of it all.

Often it is what is most personal and specific that speaks most to what is universal. It is those small, private experiences that contain valuable information that cut across generalizations. It is important to me that my work speaks to what is human in people.”

Ruth Carneson’s Art history:

  • Practicing Freelance Artist since 1975

  • Art and Design in a Social Context at Dartington College of Arts, Devon, U.K. Sep 79 to Aug 81.

  • Diploma in Higher Education : Art and Design at Newham College, London, Sep 88 to Jun 89

  • B. A. Honours in Fine Art, Art History, Art In The Community at Middlesex University, London, Sep 89 to Jun 91

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies, Jul 98 to Oct 99

  • Artist in Residence at Robben Island Museum, Cape Town, Sep and Oct 97

  • The Artrepeneur, Business partnership, printing and marketing artwork since 2004

If you'd like more information about the artist’s work, or to schedule an interview with the artist, please send me an email.

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