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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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Ruth Watson

b. 1962, New Zealand

For over twenty years Ruth Watson has used maps as a basis for making art. Unlike many artists using map imagery, she does not use the map or globe as a 'given' or 'found object'. Rather she investigates its structure, the map projection itself. Watson is looking for projections that can challenge the way we usually represent the world and transform their meanings further via the use of materials. These range from photographs of the surface of a tongue (a lingua geographica) to chocolate wrapping paper or pink plastic shopping bags. Her maps have been stretched and distorted, moulded into heart shapes, and printed onto silken dresses. Globes have been made from animal tissue or beautifully executed in hand blown glass. For example Lost Worlds, a new series of drawings, uses uncommon map projections as their basis. Rendered on heavy paper then erased, the image of something that once existed no longer does, the only remnants are embedded in the paper.

Featured Artworks

Natural State by Ruth Watson contemporary artwork Ruth WatsonNatural State, 2001 Pink plastic shopping bags, archival photomount, glass-headed pins
160 x 160 cm
Two Rooms
Summer Compass by Ruth Watson contemporary artwork Ruth WatsonSummer Compass, 2002 Gold paint and etching on capiz (mother of pearl) shell, with nylon monofilament
Two Rooms
Without parachute by Ruth Watson contemporary artwork Ruth WatsonWithout parachute, 2002 Inkjet prints directly on silk, stitched into dress form
Two Rooms

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Ruth Watson, Redoubting Antarctica at Two Rooms, Auckland
13 July–15 August 2012 Ruth Watson Redoubting Antarctica Two Rooms, Auckland

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