Ruth Allen: Glass Sculptor

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About

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Ruth Allen is a Melbourne based multi-media artist primarily working with glass, light, kinetics and the poetics of experience. Ruth has three strands to her professional practice, her Artwork, Community Cultural Development projects and transforming manufactured bottles into re-fillable, re-usable functional designs, all of which nurture her creative spirit.

Ruth Allen’s history stems from the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University where she studied under Klaus Moje, Elizabeth McClure and the late Stephen Procter. Ruth graduated in 1993 and embarked upon world travels including Japan, United States, Europe and New Zealand. Ruth attended and conducted workshops, exhibited, undertook residencies and worked consistently with ideas.

Between 1996 and 2000 Ruth co-directed a hot glass studio and glass art business in Auckland, New Zealand. The business, Gloria produced a wide range of high quality and unique blown glass forms for private commissions and galleries. The business exhibited regularly and developed extensive contacts within the Australian, New Zealand and the international art community.

Alongside the pursuit of her own practice Ruth has nourished a passion for Community Cultural Development (CCD). During the management of her own business in New Zealand, Ruth realized the necessity to educate colleagues, gallery curators and the general public, about context, concepts and methodology of the Contemporary Glass Movement. Ruth realized that if your community and audience do not understand the work the power to effect and change a viewer’s perception of things is minimized. This realization prompted her to accept the nomination for President of the New Zealand Society of Artists in Glass (NZSAG) and develop the educational programme of workshops/conference/exhibitions titled Pacific Light (PL). PL was orchestrated in 1998 and involved seven workshops focusing on various disciplines of glass practice, a ten-day residency, three-day conference and a series of exhibitions showcasing the work of national and international glass artists.

Gloria dissolved in early 2000 enabling Ruth to return to Australia and resume a more artistic practice. Ruth moved to Melbourne to complete a Master of Fine Arts (research) degree, majoring in Glass and Sculpture at Monash University. Her graduating exhibition was extensive with more than 200 individual glass forms illuminated by projected light and accompanied by audio compositions. Ruth continues to work on a large scale and within a sculptural installation context, often collaborating with multi-media artists to develop and actualize her ideas.

In August 2010 Ruth and partner Josh purchased a 430m square warehouse in Coburg Nth, the relatively new studio affectionately named LOBE has been renovated and is now catering for most creative endeavours. The pair worked toward the vision of creating a functional space where one can make almost anything. The studio is organised into working stations such as; metal, wood, ceramics, glass, welding, cutting, grinding and includes a lush front garden complte with pizza oven for entertaining the locals and guests. LOBE has allowed both Ruth and Josh to develop their practices with the confidence of knowing a new direction of works will and can be supported by the space.

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