Pink Hats in the Henhouse

Ruth Stewart


In her thesis exhibition entitled Pink Hats in the Henhouse, Ruth Stewart employs a highly layered painterly abstraction in a group of ten works. The theme arose from decades of prairie life and acquaintance with farmwomen of another generation and their stories. As a group the works are an allegory for the role of beauty in the lives of farmwomen on the prairies in past decades.

The human scale of the work encourages an intimacy with the viewer who is invited to interpret its layers of wire, canvas, paint and fabric. As the air gently moves the outer layer one might glimpse the corner of a lace collar or a reflection in a polished silver spoon; or one might catch sight of calloused hands and mud caked boots before the gauze layer drifts and changes one’s perception.