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Ruth Helen Smith

Lecturer, art teacher

Ruth Helen Smith

Artist, writer and curator

Ruth Smith is an artist, writer and curator who completed her MA and BA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, graduating in 2016 with a distinction from the course Flesh and Fabric: The Victorian and Edwardian Interior. She has recently moved to Devon to start a new gallery and art residency programme.In the first lockdown she was inspired at how the local suppliers of vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk, beer, bread and meat kept everyone stocked up, and how it created connections between people despite their solitude. This was a springboard into thinking about what Covid19 may have taught us about the importance of localism and looking after the world and each other. A series of still lives resulted from this and, having become enamoured by Roman frescoes, she started setting the still lives within painted alcoves. The works relate to the mode of painting, figuration, and how creating a sense of space that isn’t there is not about ‘tricking’ the eye, as the modernist Clement Greenberg would have put it, but about story-telling and cultivating imagination that expands beyond physical limitations. Ruth similarly hopes that these pieces inspire others to imagine an alternative future where we might engage more with the landscapes and people around us and where we might prefer to cherish the abundance on our doorstep rather than flying over mangetout from Peru.

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