l i g h t   I   s p a c e

paintings by ruth hickman


31 October – 20 November

preview Friday October 31 5.30-7pm


My work is grounded in contemporary Abstract Painting and Painting Installation. I am interested in the substance of paint and its optical effects, and the possibility of a “surround-sound” experience of colour.Installations involve applying paint directly onto walls, temporary works in response to the dynamics of the space and changing light over time. Works on canvas have been made on the floor, walls, and in suspension from the ceiling – an investigation into the movement of paint, light and gravity.

Studio Practice

I use a commercial spray gun for installation painting and sometimes for works on canvas, as the process is immediate – the simultaneity of thinking and doing is important to my process, a balance of freedom and risk.  Gesture and physicality of making is always part of the work. The work explores the idea that colour can transform the way we view and interact with a space.

Canvases that converge in the corner question the function of social and architectural space in which the works are viewed. Paintings explore the use of layers of semi-opaque glaze which allows glimpses of the surfaces beneath. I relate this to the idea of palimpsest where new connections are made by looking at traces and absences. By combining the ephemeral elements of site-specific with more concrete elements of abstract painting on canvas I hope to blur these respective boundaries.


Graduate Diploma Secondary Teaching
University of Waikato, 2009
Bachelor of Media Arts (First Class Honours) in Painting Waikato Institute of Technology, 2007
University of Waikato, 2002
Pre-degree Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking
Kensington & Chelsea College, London UK, 1995-96
Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology major) University of Waikato, 1986



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