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Ruth Franklin At House Mill

October 5, 2019
by the gentle author

I first came across artist Ruth Franklin‘s work in Whitechapel in 2015, when she displayed her cardboard sculptures of sewing machines and hairdressing tools, reflecting her family’s history in these trades in the East End.

‘My work is about the importance of household artefacts and family professions in uncovering childhood memories and family history,’ says Ruth.

‘I have been reflecting on my grandparents, who fled Poland in the early 1900’s, to settle in the East End of London, where they set up a tailors workshop. Looking too at my father’s profession as a women’s hairdresser, I have been creating tailoring and hairdressing ‘objects’, both real and imaginary, through sewn paper constructions, and amalgamated workshop and hairdressers tools.’

Now Ruth is showing her new sculptures of hand tools in a joint exhibition with Sara Radstone & Kate Starkey at House Mill on Three Mills Island in Bromley-by-Bow from Wednesday 9th – Sunday 13th October. All are welcome at the private view on Thursday 10th, 6–8:30pm.

The spectacular eighteenth-century House Mill is Europe’s largest tidal mill and, if you have never visited, this is an ideal opportunity.

Power drill (2019)

Hand drill (2019)

Hammer (2019)

Tape Measure (2019)

Sewing machine (2015)

Iron (2015)

Hairdryer (2015)

Hairdressing tools (2015)

Equipment (2015)

The Salon (2015)

Tools for the salon  (2015)

Curling machine (2015)

Manya (2015)

Alfy in May, mother’s brogue (2015)

Artwork copyright © Ruth Franklin

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At House Mill

6 Responses leave one →
  1. October 5, 2019

    Fantastic art objects, wish I could be there! Valerie

  2. paul loften permalink
    October 5, 2019

    For one momnet the thought occured “ghastly facadism of tools ” abd then realised the imagination that it took to create , I think I must be “blogged out” . If there is sucha thing

  3. October 5, 2019

    Thank you for this wonderful thought-provoking post. These works are so
    unique and distinctive, and provide such insight into the value of memory and mystery.
    The dignity of each workmanlike tool is perfectly captured in these sculptures, and each object
    radiates with endless stories and lessons.
    I’m very inspired by this new-to-me artist.

  4. Dave R permalink
    October 5, 2019

    Thanks for sharing. So much freight of meaning implied in these beautiful, subtle constructions. Shall be attending.

  5. Adele permalink
    October 5, 2019

    Fascinating artistry.

  6. October 11, 2019

    Love these thanks for the introduction to her work.

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