Reworked with Ruth Thomas

An integral aspect of an artist’s working practice is to periodically revisit, recycle and refine their initial ideas. REWORKED invites Mesh artists and friends to review their stock of research pieces and trial studies, further work them, and present them in reworked form. 

To encourage greater collaboration and opportunities for rethinking ideas, the group also have been tasked with reworking a research piece of another artist.  This brief aims to give artists greater understanding of their own personal development process and overcome any fear of departure from the initial ideas.

In the run up to the Reworked exhibition we will be posting a glimpse behind the scenes as the artists prepare their work


What inspires you?

I am fascinated by nature’s calligraphy: the myriad of lines on windswept beaches, the richly coloured rock faces, the delicate structures of shells and seaweed. Central to my art practice is the experience of walking, observing and building a bank of pictorial references, from which I create large-scale exploratory drawings, which deconstruct and regenerate organic forms in a visual simulation of nature in flux.

How do you approach the Reworked brief?

I decided to step back in time to an exploratory drawing, I made during the final year of my degree. The drawing was a progressive life size investigation of the foreshores of the East Lothian coastline and became a pivotal turning point in the focus of my artist practice. For the exhibition, I have broken up the drawing into five smaller individual pieces reworking the imagery, changing the perspective and intensifying the textural layers. I aimed to retain the drawing’s fluidity while developing the complexity of the imagery.

The drawing below is the original artwork while the next drawing is one of the Reworked pieces.



Describe your working environment?

Whilst I have a small studio space at Fenton Barns, most of my work is done at home where my materials, current drawings and paper have a tendency to spread throughout the house.

What music do you listen to while working?

I like to listen to melodic music, Emily Sande, Lorde and Enya, and let the motion of my pencil respond to the rhythm.

What book is at your bedside?

There is always a large pile of books by my bedside. These include notebooks to record moments of inspiration, books to dip in and out of like ‘A Handbook of Scotland’s Coasts’, ‘Strange Country, Why Australian Painting Matters’, ‘Ocean of Life’ and a good read, at the moment, ‘Euphoria’ by Lily King.


 Find out more about Ruth Thomas’ work in our member profiles and visit the Reworked Exhibition to see her work



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