Overall Winner 2020

Ruth Murray


Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
180 x 160 cm

“My paintings are about the experiences of women – most of my paintings are of women in a scene. It’s the hidden thoughts and the psychology of the situation that interest me most. I use pattern and light to transform ordinary, tangible objects into pliable masses and ugly squiggles. I am excited by light and colour, which paint serves best, and love how the playfulness of this can, paradoxically, add a sort of melancholy to the thing it’s depicting.

My iconography is developed from everyday stories, places and faces, but also makes use of elements from older visual languages and across the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. Sometimes I’ll confront the viewer with enigmatic behaviours (there’s always something private and inaccessible about the subjects); and at other times I’ll use rituals, symbols and tokens to disrupt the reading of the image. It’s not a radical effect: more a gentle skewing. Sometimes it’s the slightest gesture that feels most significant.

Geraniums is set in the greenhouse of my neighbours garden, that I grew up next door to. Those are the trees of my childhood memories. I often return home to stage my scenes, that is my place of play.”