The juncture of art practice and visual culture discourses are at the centre of Ruth’s research. Her teaching and research are closely intertwined. Since 1998 her artistic practice has involved printmaking and installation. Her critical and theoretical concerns in turn have been informed by her artistic practice. The notion of ‘repetition as difference’ serves as a practical and poetic metaphor for this interweaving of a multi-dimensionally understood ‘practice’ and ‘theory’ relationship. Ruth is particularly interested in contributing to the development of a critical discourse on print media in the context of contemporary art.
She is a member of the Material/Technê/Materialisms School of Art research cluster.
In addition to developing her artistic practice and curatorial activity, Ruth has contributed to numerous international conferences and peer-reviewed as well as subject-specific publications, such as Art Journal, Visual Culture in Britain, Print Quarterly, IMPACT Conference Proceedings and Art in Print. She has also written catalogue essays and gallery texts for artists. Her anthology of critical writing, Perspectives on contemporary printmaking, the first of its kind, is published by Manchester University Press.
Ruth's academic writing and art criticism have explored a range of concepts and themes affiliated with contemporary cultural and aesthetic practices, especially in relation to prints/printmaking. These include:
- notions of ‘craft’, ‘technology’, ‘technique’;
- discursivity, citationality and performativity;
- haptics and surface;
- ‘screen’, ‘skin’ and the ‘imprint’;
- multi-and/or intermedial practices;
- the sonorous quality of visual art;
- the material aesthetic of paper;
- drawing and printmaking;
- translation and copy;
- print and narrative;
- printmaking and the problematics of vision in photography;
- changing notions of the frame in contemporary art and print
- the ‘post-productive’ aspect of arts-based research.