CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #19: Ruth Charnock

Ruth Charnock makes work about and from difficult embodiments, anger, shame, motherhood, queerness and gender. She is also part of a feminist making collective, in its first stirrings, and works increasingly within animist and divinatory practices, such as tarot.

"My project 'tender knots' is a multimedia project, incorporating textiles, photography, live performance and writing. It is an exploration of relational entanglements and the ways they feel – from the contortions of the new mother's body as she bends herself to her child, to the ritualised feminism enacted by the knots of the witch's ladder. I am interested how knots might be made in different contexts and what kinds of embodiment they suggest – particularly with regards women's emotional and domestic labour.

The project is informed by the psychological dialogue 'Knots' by R.D Laing, and the queer feminisms of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, especially her text 'Touching Feeling'. The work builds on the sculptural piece 'is it fair though is it fair' which was exhibited at Maternochronics in 2022, as well as a live performance of the making of a witch's ladder with my collaborator Karen Schaller, which will take place in the Spring. 'tender knots' comprises the third and fourth elements of this project: a series of conversations with documentary and conceptual photographer Adam O'Meara towards the 'maternal knots' images, and a workshop in shibari, the Japanese art of knot-making, which will help me to think about gesture, compression and poses for the same piece."

You can see more of Ruth's work on her website.


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