I’ve been a fan of glassblower and filmmaker (among other things) Ruth Dupré’s work for quite a while now, so I was looking forward to being surprised and entertained by her latest show, Tangles of Uncertainty at the Arthouse1 Gallery in Bermondsey. And I wasn’t disappointed – there was plenty to admire and plenty to enjoy.
The big A over the door tells you you’ve arrived at the gallery, a bright space at the top of a Georgian house in a rapidly changing part of London, where you ring the bell to get in and climb a polished wooden spiral staircase to the top floor to see the show. The space is perfect for displaying Ruth’s glass and multimedia works inspired by natural organic forms that bring soft sensuality to what ought to be hard and brittle.
The gallery cat welcomes visitors and posed obligingly for me in front of this glass and good leaf construction, Coyness is no Crime.
Not all of the works are glass. There are works using soft media, like this colourful mix of Indian sari materials titled, like the show, Tangles of Uncertainty.
Much of Ruth’s work is influenced by dance, and it’s through our shared love of dance that I got to know her. Her work has life and movement that reflects in a concrete way the way dance forms shapes and patterns in space and inside your head.
There’s even one work that she laughingly called her dancer, Spot Leap (hommage to Degas) in silk nylon and glass:
There’s evidence of her rather wicked sense of humour in this exhibition too. ‘It’s a bit racy,’ she told me and it was, though I’ve left the racier works out of this post. But St Sebastian (wood, ceramic, glaze and acrylic) is a good example of her mischievous approach.
If you asked me to pick my favourite, it would be this colourful glass work, Sweet Spun:
Or maybe The Night we Flew in glass, ceramic and gold leaf.
The exhibition is on at the Arthouse1 Gallery, 45 Grange Road, SE1 3BH until 31st October. The gallery is open 3 pm to 7:30 pm Thursday to Sunday. The works are for sales with prices ranging from £175 each for these rubber and gold leaf flowers:
to £2,200 for this large glass tangle: