Glass artist Ruth Oliphant is concerned with the interrelationships between place, visual memory and perception. She is intrigued by the way impressions of a destination are filtered through memory and experience. She draws her imagery from urban environments – windows, streetscapes and historic power stations and brickworks all allow Ruth to explore interesting architectural details and the passage of time. Ruth invites us to navigate scenes which speak of the poetic facilities of the mind as much as of the sites they depict. In her personal journey, Ruth has been inspired in both her study and glass work by her renowned architect grandfather Kenneth Oliphant. Art critic Peter Haynes wrote of Ruth’s work in her 2015 exhibition, and these observations still stand true for this carefully observed show, “… continue the artist’s interest in the built environment and here particularly with the changing effects of light as we progress through the day. She has elected to capitalise on the psychological impact of the empty room, the space devoid of human presence, pared back to its architectural essentials…”
Ruth Oliphant commenced her studies in architecture before changing to a Bachelor of Arts/Visual, majoring in glass, at the ANU Institute of the Arts in Canberra. She graduated with Honours in 2008 and, in that same year, received the Ranamok Glass Award People’s Choice prize and the Embassy of Spain Award. In 2009, Ruth received the Vicki Torr Memorial Prize and, in 2014, she was awarded an Endeavour Fellowship to undertake residencies at the prestigious Berlin Glas Studio, (Germany) and Bullseye Glass Company (USA). In 2015, she participated in the Artist-in-Schools Program, an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with artsACT and the ACT Education and Training Directorate. Ruth’s first solo exhibition was with Beaver Galleries in September 2009 and was part of an award by the gallery to support a new and exciting recent graduate.