Ruth Claxton (Sculpture, 2012)Synthetic Worlds (Pastoral Couple)2011

Ruth Claxton

Fellow in 2012 for Sculpture

The internet and its virtual worlds is changing the way people understand, relate to and experience objects, space and concepts like place. These once-stable definitions have become slippery and set in flux by the new experiences technology offers.

Claxton likes to explore these ideas through objects and installations that look at the shifting relationships between the real and the virtual. “I make works that unravel over time, that demand ‘close reading’, physical presence and time spent….Surfaces are literally rendered by the environment around them and rather than being static, reveal themselves as a constantly shifting set of viewpoints which fix, multiply and collapse as one moves around or through them.”

A powerful example of this is her project And My Eyes Danced. This used the exisiting model yacht pond on the beach at Weston Super Mare as a framework. Inside were a series of overlapping rings with glass panels inserted in varying sections. The materials respond to changes in the light, weather and water level to create a “slippery shape shifter of a sculpture…which performs for the viewer and despite its scale, resisted becoming stable, or fixed.” Instead it was always experienced afresh in the given moment.

As well as creating her sculptures, Claxton is a founding director of Eastside Projects, an artist-led space and public gallery in Birmingham.