Devon (2021-2024)

Ruth Helen Smith paints en plein air, immersing herself in the countryside of the Southwest where she currently lives. She describes it as a way of “leaving everything behind to just ‘be’”. Her work has been aptly called ‘refracted experiences made tangible’ through her thick use of paint and loose figuration. The abstract focus on the painted surface, where alla prima brushstrokes meld into one continuous whole, reflects how everything is connected by sharing in existence itself. Smith’s paintings are imbued with a sense of mystery and wonder at the vastness we cannot comprehend, and a sense that although we might glimpse something through the trees, it might just be glimpsing back.