Gail Ritchie at Rooftops Studios in Berlin

“Although no longer working in the field as an archaeological excavator, my work plays with the traditions and conventions of both visual art and archaeology, allowing both procedures to interlink and interfere with each other.

There is a scientific element to the work reflecting a quest into the truth about death and decay. The visual language used must be as unflinching as forensics and the technique used to produce images or sculpture reflects this. The image is distilled and free from nostalgia. Artefacts and animals which hold an aura of memory and meaning and which may be enigmatic in terms of cultural and mythological associations intrigue me.

The work draws on many references, cultural and historical and operates across a variety of means from installation, to photography to sound and object based pieces. I recycle motifs throughout my work, in whichever media, and this reflects how the nature of meaning is fluid and changing. The recombination of motifs energises possibilities within the narratives. In this respect, all work to date is work in progress, a circular exploration of memory and memorial.”

Gail Ritchie.

Artist talk

In this presentation, Gail Ritchie presents an overview of her recent practice and discuss how a commitment to time and materials governs her creative process. With an emphasis on recent work, she will illustrate how traditional materials and repetitive mark making on a small scale can come together to form large scale works which address contemporary issues. Ritchie uses digital technologies to assist her in this work but it used as the means more often than as the end product. She discusses why , for some of her work, a personal time commitment is essential, both for individual pieces and for themes and concepts which direct her output. In conclusion, she explains the concept behind ‘Elephant’ ; new work made specifically for sLow, in collaboration with composer Gareth Williams.