Artist’s Studio, Ruth Miemczyk, photograph David Chalmers, 2016

Saturday 11th November – Sunday 17th December
Fridays – Sundays 11.00am – 4.00pm
and at other time by appointment.
Admission is free.

You are invited to the preview of this exhibition on Friday 10th November at Crescent Arts at 7.00pm – 9.00pm

In Conversation: Ruth Miemczyk and Stuart Cameron
Wednesday 22nd November at 7.00pm
The artist is ‘in conversation’ about her work and the exhibition with Crescent Arts’ Director. All are welcome and admission is free.

The start of a picture can often be quite ambiguous. I can work energetically, conscious of the physicality of movement, the deliberateness of a gesture. Keeping an openness and fluidity in my working process enables me to become responsive to the unintentional or surprise element that might suddenly come into being’. Ruth Miemczyk

Painting is a process of constantly looking, changing, contemplating, and discovering for Ruth Miemczyk. She employs a visual language that is experienced through colour, shape, scale and a sense of space that is arrived at through the visible process and gestural act of painting. Her paintings take shape as a distillation of this visual language by adding, eliminating, changing the balance, weight and dynamics until she is close to being satisfied with the resulting work.

Over the period of time that Ruth has been working in her studio at Crescent Arts she has been increasingly interested in pairings or groupings of paintings. This is reflected in her method of working with several closely related paintings simultaneously which allows her a more expansive development of the visual language. The pairing of works is particularly fascinating, since it raises interesting questions about the uniqueness of any specific action, gesture or decision. The impossibility and futility of attempting replication, exact or otherwise, is quickly apparent. The diptych form raises formal challenges concerning (a)symmetry as an inherent characteristic, which cannot easily be disregarded, and whereby similarity serves to accentuate differences.

While Ruth talks about her paintings purely in terms of their abstract qualities of gesture, shape and colour, the viewer may be drawn to look for associative elements and it’s certainly possible to see how the paintings relate to landscape or architectural structures or spaces. That’s not to say that the paintings are ‘about’ landscape or architecture, or even a specific place or event. While Ruth will occasionally give a title to a painting that heightens an atmospheric reading of the work it can equally refers to the archetypal geometry and colour within the painting. Like many of the best artists, she manages to create a sense of clarity without destroying the delicate balance which must allow for ambiguity and expansiveness – without which the work would lack poetic spark.

While she may not be certain of how a painting begins, or where it will lead her, she can recognise when it ‘works’ and should be left alone. That she might have ‘finished with’ any single painting is perhaps misleading, as we can retrospectively trace similar configurations across works spanning a considerable period of time. The recurrence of certain shapes and gestures; notably the geometric shapes of diamonds, circles, squares and triangles is clearly apparent. It’s as if she has to look again and revisit a proposition or idea, but the resulting paintings emerge as persistent, elusive and wayward as memory.

Untitled Diptych, oil on canvas, Ruth Miemczyk, photograph David Chalmers, 2016

Saturday 18th Nov
Monotype Printing
Artist-tutor: Ruth Miemczyk

Monotype printing is an approach that lies between printmaking and painting. The process results in a ‘one-of-kind’ image produced by working a design with oils, inks and similar materials on a surface such as glass slab, metal plate or stone. The image is then transferred to paper. Ruth will guide you through this exciting and versatile process, with plenty of opportunity to experiment with ideas and materials.

Ruth Miemczyk lives and works in Scarborough. She studied Fine Art at Barnsley School of Arts and Crafts and then at Central School of Arts and Design and Goldsmiths College, London. She has exhibited widely across the UK including the current touring exhibition, Sketch Open 2017. Ruth has renewed her connections more recently in Poland, where she has participated in several residencies and group shows as well as presenting major solo exhibitions in Lodz in 2006 and Gorlice in 2003 and 2017. This exhibition is her second solo showing at Crescent Arts.