The strength of ceramic work which has been gracing It’s Nice That recently has been bowling us over on the regular, and the recent emergence of Ruth Borgenicht proves again that the magical spring providing us with all of these clay-minded creatives has yet to run dry.
Her work is based around a fascination with chainmail; a structural wonder actually seeing as it is made from tiny interlocking metal rings and yet has acted as a barrier between the human body and imminent danger since Medieval times. Ruth recreates the form of chainmail, but juxtaposes the structural strength with the fragility of fired clay. How exactly she manages to do this – and to such stunning effect – have no idea, but the historical basis upon which her work is founded has me fascinated.
She explains: “I use the chain mail pattern and other woven patterns to create ceramic works that conjure up a sense of permanence and defensive concealment. Like the ancient armor, my pieces are made of a fabric of moveable interlocking rings. Using clay to make a protective mesh is contradictory; for how can it defend anything, much less itself? Visually stone-like, the pieces appear strong and impenetrable, belying their inherent fragility.”
Ruth Borgenicht will be on view at Snyderman-Works from August 27 to September 28.