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    Figurative Paintings with Industrial Resins Resulting from collaboration with a polymer chemist, Ruth McLees' paintings break free of the flat p… Read More
    Figurative Paintings with Industrial Resins Resulting from collaboration with a polymer chemist, Ruth McLees' paintings break free of the flat picture plane and into 3 dimensions. Since becoming an artist, Ruth has been fascinated by the viewer’s perception of depth within the flat plane of the canvas, and the layering of transparent and opaque materials over a surface to further experiment with the perception of space. This, coupled with a desire for her work to break out of the boundaries of the 2D picture plane, is what led her to begin experimenting with resins. Research shows that most artists working with resin are primarily sculptors, casting flawless resin forms; those using resin as a painting medium are few and far between. Ruth set out to explore non-traditional application of resins and their adaptation into a medium to take the traditional place of paint upon the surface of a canvas. After contacting a number of resin manufacturers she found a Cardiff-based polymer chemist keen to collaborate. The resins he uses have been developed for industrial and technological purposes, including the repair of oil rigs and buoys in the North Sea. This particular type of resin, ‘polyurethane elastomer’ is used in ‘The Sea Made Flesh’ and ‘Alpha’. These resins are rarely used for art and have never before been used as a painting medium. Thus all works created are unique outcomes of a process of discovery. Working with new materials in new ways meant there was no rule book to follow. Thus the greater part of this project was spent experimenting. Resins were mixed, poured, inverted and squeezed onto different surfaces: textile, varnish, silicone, wax and latex. Drying times were recorded. Various dyes and paints were added with many surprising reactions and results. “In the evening before I left my studio I would prepare a resin and leave it to set overnight, not knowing what the result might be. The next day was highly anticipated but frequently disappointing and I would return to find that nothing had worked and everything just looked a mess. Thankfully there were also some successes, and I was surprised by the resins behaving in unexpected and beautiful ways; it then became my challenge to work out how to use these reactions within an artwork.” ‘The Sea Made Flesh’ grew from portraiture as this is where her fascination lies. She developed a vocabulary of gesture and technique using resin to investigate texture, colour, form, feel and other ways of configuring the optically perceived space of the canvas. Thus the resins convey the image as well as describing the 3D form or tactile qualities of the objects represented. Initially 2 dimensional and wall mounted, the work moves into 3 dimensions as an outcome of the intrinsic sculptural properties of resin, extending the subject matter beyond the confines of the flat picture plane and so also exploring volume, shape and size. By pushing the boundaries of the material Ruth challenges preconceptions as to what constitutes a painting medium. Occupying a space between painting and sculpture and between Fine and Applied Art, the work highlights a non-industrial, gestural application of resin and the possibility of uncovering new potential in these industrial materials. Exhibited in Llantarnam Grange and gallery/ten 2011-2012 Read Less
    Published:
Entropy
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
80 x 50cm plus resin
2011
Entropy
Installation view
The Sea Made Flesh
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
64.5 x 95cm incl. resin
2011
Half Round
UV stable automotive resin and acrylic on upholstery textile
54 x 30cm including resin
2011-2012
Alpha
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
Resin hangs to floor x 60cm
2011
Diaphaneity
UV stable automotive resin and acrylic on vintage textile
68 x 30cm including resin
2011-2012
Tricky
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
98 x 65cm
2012
Tide
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
60 x 85cm incl. resin
2012
Cadmium
Graphite and resin on paper plus frame
34 x 34cm
2012
Violet
Graphite and resin on paper plus frame
34 x 44cm
2012
 
Please contact gallery/ten for details
Indigo
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
17 x 16cm plus resin
2012
Ochre
Polyurethane elastomer, varnish and pigment on vintage textile
17 x 16cm plus resin
2012
Between Words
Graphite, pigment and fibreglass in industrial doming resin
32 x 32cm, framed
2012
Pause
Graphite, pigment and fibreglass in industrial doming resin
32 x 32cm, framed
2012
Tell Me When
Acrylic, latex and pigment on voile
80 x 70cm approx.
2011
Overtone
Acrylic, varnish and casting resin on vintage textile
88 x 44cm
2011
Capillary
Acrylic, varnish and casting resin on textile
80 x 64.5cm
2011