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Ruth Waller: Dark Matter & Garbage Suite

The Artist

According to the ANU where Ruth Waller lectured, Ruth Waller grew up in Sydney and studied at Alexander Mackie CAE in the seventies. She taught at the ANU School of Art & Design since 1990 and was Head of Painting from 2006 - 2018. She has exhibited with Watters Gallery, Sydney since 1981 and is represented by Nancy Sever Gallery in Canberra. In 2009 she was awarded ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Supervision. The Canberra Museum & Gallery featured a thirty-year survey of her work in 2010.

The Works of Art

Ruth Waller's art is represented by two works in the University of Canberra's Art Collection. The first, titled ' Dark Matter'  is a lithograph print  edition 8 of 99 published in 1992.  The work depicts  a range of matter and fungi  on a woodland floor. The purpose of the composition is the shapes, texture and play of light.  The woodland matter makes quite a strong abstract image.

Dark Matter by Ruth Waller

The second work of art is titled, 'Garbage Suite 5'.  Painted in 2006  using synthetic polymer paint onto canvas, this follows Ruth's  exploration of  the contemporary abstract. From a similar work  called 'Deposition (Polychrome)' created in 2005, Ruth states that her works are a fusion of her fascination with the lamentation scenes (from Renaisance alterpieces of Christ) and ‘a perverse pleasure…found in the garbage skips of Barcelona’ (where she had an artist residency in 2000). A carefully arranged tier of cardboard boxes, crumpled paper, packaging and other detritus is delicately rendered in pink and grey-blue hues on a dark background, the resulting visual rhythm alluding to the dramatic and complex compositions of the altarpieces, where a number of figures interact powerfully in a shallow space.