Ruth Power was born in Dublin, 1988 and she has graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2011.
“My work is strongly political and inspired by the invention of Japanese tentacle pornography.
It all began when I typed in ‘tentacle’ to Google Images. 90% of the images that showed up consisted of violent tentacle porn. Tentacle porn has been around for centuries, but only became hugely popular in 1980, when a Japanese animator named Maeda wanted to make an erotic anime called Urotsuki. However, at the time, Japanese law forbade anatomically explicit pornographic drawings. Illustrators were always looking for ways to get around the law, so, instead of depicting an erect penis, Maeda depicted brutal tentacles.
Moreover, it was illegal to show couples taking part in sex where the man penetrates the woman with his penis for mutual pleasure, but it was perfectly legal to show tentacle rape. This contradiction of censorship fascinated me. The restrictions on the latter substantially caused the former: the return of the repressed as huge, aggressive tentacles…and this is what I found to be most fascinating.
Thus, the tentacles in my work symbolize sexual repression. I am very worried about contemporary sexuality, with women still derogated for acting sexual and mainstream pornography becoming more and more brutal. I pay a lot of attention to the media, which further influences my work. I use casts of my own body parts to express how this state of deformed sexuality is affecting me.
Originally, for my pieces I used white earthenware clay, but now I am using very thin porcelain to achieve translucency, shadows and finer detail. The tentacles are hand built with each sucker individually placed onto the piece. I create tentacle silhouettes by placing tentacles behind the translucent piece. I aim to create work that is both beautiful and rather disturbing and am fascinated by the conflicting reactions my work evokes; some shudder, some think it is beautiful. I also aim to provoke discussion and debate with my work on urgent issues that I find are often overlooked.” Ruth Power
Ruth Power’s C.V. (resume) - View her works
2008–2011 - B. Des (hons) Ceramics NCAD, 100 Thomas St. Dublin 8, awarded FirstClass Honours
2004–2006 - Leaving Certificate (550 points) at The Institute of Education, Mount St. Dublin 2
2011 - NCAD Degree Show, NCAD, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.
- ‘Manifest’ (chosen as one of eight artists), Kinsale Arts Week, Londis, Kinsale.
- Knockanstockan Festival Art Trail, Ballyknockan, Blessington.
- ‘Sculpture in Context 2011’, The Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
- Final judging round for the RDS Crafts Competition, 2011
- ‘New Cats and Dogs’, The Little Ghost Gallery, Kilkenny Arts Festival,
- Kilkenny (Chosen as ‘Exhibition of the Week’ by Kilkenny Reporter).
- ‘Selected Emerging Artists Exhibition’, Ranelagh Arts Centre, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.
- ‘Future Makers Exhibition’, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork.
- ‘AXL.EKTK Collective Exhibition’, Free Candy Gallery, 905 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
- The Jam Art Factory Opening, Patrick Street, Dublin 8.
- ‘Turn the Light On’ Feminist exhibition of film and art, The Exchange, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
- Gave public talk/slideshow about concept concerning work from
- Third Year for the Kilmainham Arts Club, Dublin 8.
2010 - Gallery Zozimus, Francis St, Dublin 8.
- Kilmainham Arts Festival 2010, The Patriots Inn, Dublin 8.
- NCAD Maritime Exhibition, NCAD, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.
- Ceramics Symposium Exhibition, NCAD, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.
2009 - Arty Party, La Catedral Studios, The Back Loft, Dublin 8.
- Arty Party, 4 Dame Lane, Dublin 2.
- The Scoop Charity Summer Auction, Pygmalion, South William St, Dublin 2.
- The Scoop Charity Winter Auction, Film Base, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
2011 - Future Makers Student Award and Grant.
- Commended Thesis Award (NCAD).
- StudentZINE MAKERS Award (StudentsZINE; Ireland’s leading zine for Contemporary arts).
- Sculpture in Context ‘CAST Ltd Award’ for work of distinction in any medium.
- People’s Choice Award (Selected Emerging Artist Exhibition 2011), Second Place.
2004 - Our Lady’s School Award for Excellence in Artistic Achievement, Terenure, Dublin 2.
2008-Present - Member of the Knockanstockan Visual Art Team, creating art installations for the Knockanstockan Music Festival, Ballyknockan, Blessington.
- Organized successful craft markets in the Dublin region.
- Stallholder atweekly market-places and fairs across Dublin.Formed a small business designing and selling handmade crafts.
- Casting and life drawing model.
2009 - Make-up and effects artist for ‘Ladybirdz’ music video.
- Life drawing model, Temple Lane Studios, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
2012 - Image of work in Ceramics Ireland magazine
2011 - ‘Art Confronts Power, Sexuality and Porn’ by Gemma Tipton,The Irish Times
2010 - Nominated young Irish craftsperson for inclusion in Acne Papers (Sweden), Spring/Summer issue, article entitled ‘Guilded Youth’.
- Chosen to represent the Ceramics, Glass and Metals Department in the NCAD Degree Show Magazine 2011 (with interview and images).
Visit Ruth Power’s website.
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