The Colour in Anything
Ruth Philo's work often begins with walking … it is a sensory process, feeling, seeing, hearing, thinking … noticing aspects of place, terrain, colour, light, temperature and weather. There is a continual dialogue between thoughts and senses through the experience that continues into painting … it is instinctive, unconscious and personal. Rather than depicting the world the paintings convey a sensory experience through abstraction, using the language of colour, surface, and gesture as touch to evoke feeling and memory. The paintings themselves are also about paint and process, they become a record, often revealing condensed histories in their surfaces.
As well as painting Philo also works on projects that involve people and place. In 2017-18 she worked on The River Runs Through Us, a film, walks and wild swim project with sound artist Stuart Bowditch on the River Stour in Suffolk & Essex, supported by ACE and the Dedham Vale AONB. They explored the deeper connectedness and primitive co-dependency that exists between people and water. Currently she is working on Fabric: Silk Road, a cultural and ethnographic exchange making connections between the silk mills of Sudbury, Suffolk and the silk industry and traditions in China together with an exploration of the silk mills on the Silk Road, aiming to research and make a gazetteer of contemporary silk.
The work here includes paintings from recent years, that bring the hues of the everyday together with the film The River Runs Through Us and two one minute films If Blue Could Be Happiness and The Sea Today, all of which are being shown concurrently in Alive in the Universe curated by Caroline Wiseman at Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice as part of the collateral events at the Venice Biennale 2019.