LAZNIA 2 2014/15 - Ruth Le Gear Research stay
Ruth Le Gear
Research visit: april / may
Implementation stay: november / december
Working title temporal aspects of water memory and the poetic debris of investigation.
This body of work is currently being created at the Centre of Contemporary art Laznia, in Gdansk.
My practice involves an engagement and meditations with the landscape,making visible the invisible by creating a tangible response to forces that are not immediately apparent. Utilising the methodologies of homeopathy, I unravel shared experience through water. The body of work is emerging from the outcomes of research, collaboration and field work based around water memory and the various sites in the district of Gdansk and the Baltic Sea.
Previous work in the Arctic, where I sailed the high seas onboard a tall ship for a number of weeks, collecting iceberg samples, has really informed my current practice. There is a primal purity in the Arctic, I made a series of water remedies and objects from the meltwaters of the icebergs . My method involves serial dilutions, which form tiny poetic time machines where each sample is explored to see what is held within. These outcomes are translated into moving image installations, sound and photography.
The work at CCA Laznia has revolved around a number of sites, where I collected the waters and explored them through various processes to unlock the stories held within, to me waters are recorders of information, they record time and it also holds the key to unlocking itself, alchemy within water. In homeopathy you treat like with like, so this has been my process here, making remedies from the waters and returning them to themselves. The return of the waters is always as a frozen sphere, this alchemical waters reflects Carl Jung's ideas of the Ouroboros as an archetype and the basic mandala of alchemy. Therefore I am making a remedy from the water and then I 'return' it to the water, I am setting in place a process of 'healing' by giving it a focus that it currently does not have. This process is a meditation within the space, a ritual conversation with the water. An empathic resonance with the water in a sense. These efforts are locked in dialogue with their own very nature - the ephemeral particle phenomena force a trail of evidence.
Nowy Port my main site of work currently holds an interesting history being one of site where the very first shots of WWII were fired at Westerplatte. The Martwa Wisla literally the dead Vistula is a river one of the branches of the Vistula that flows through the city of Gdnask and out to sea through Nowy Port. Nowy Port is a busy industrial port on the Baltic sea and the waters are very polluted. Other sites include, Hel sea samples, Sopot well water, Gydina well water. I have also been working with the Polish institute of Oceanography while I am in Gdansk, studying water samples with them. Their main research surrounds the ecology of Svalbard, I intend on working with them next June on the Vistula river as part of an art and science collaboration.
This is quiet intangible work in ways and it will be translated into a tangible form for exhibition using various surfaces for projection, as well as maps, drawings and photographic documentation of the creation of the works. I will work with black mirrors as a projection surface for moving image works. This darkened surface is like a porthole to view this other world, the subtle energies and the hidden aspects of substances. The surfaces become conceived as experimental investigations into the material and temporal aspects of water memory and the poetic debris of investigation!
A publication of stemming from this residency is currently being discussed with CCA Laznia and Leitrim County Council. It will include a number of postcards, a foldout map as well as a 20/30 page publication all inside an envelope with an original drawing on the outside in an edition of 500. The publication combines multiple threads to reveal information and represent experiences, extending the works existence.
Irish artist Ruth Le Gear is fascinated with the research methods of non-physical phenomena, in particular biological memory of water. Her projects are multidimensional compositions combining art with scientific research and unconventional methods such as homeopathy. For one of her latest works she produced a crystal from human’s tears. Currently, her research interests result from her stay in Spitsbergen in 2012, where she analysed phenomena related to the dynamics of disappearing glaciers.
During her artist residency Ruth Le Gear collects water samples from different locations in the Tri-City. During a few weeks long period, she has conducted a series of experiments and artistic researches related to the "physical" memory of water. Her meticulous and consistent work resembles the process of creating a database / library that organizes a range of information about the nature of water. Intriguing results describe visually the energy, aesthetic and emotional image of accumulated water. Her works take on a poetic and abstract form . As part of her research, the artist has teamed up with the Institute of Oceanology in Sopot and  Marine Station in Hel being a part of Institute of Oceanography in the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography at the University of Gdańsk.
Le Gear graduated from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) with a degree in sculpture in 2007. Her solo exhibition Water that Sleeps was exhibited at Galway Arts Centre in 2009. Recent group exhibitions include Crystalline at the Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown (2012), Ev+a (2008) and Claremorris Open (2008). In 2011 she was awarded a six-month residency in Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin. Other residencies include: The Arctic Circle (2012); Culturia, Berlin (2012); SIM, Iceland (2012/09); Cill Rialig, Kerry (2011/12); Limerick City Gallery of Art (2008) and Tyrone Guthrie (2010).
Municipal Institution of Culture