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DCA Archive

Brank & Heckle

Ruth Ewan

Ruth Ewan’s first major solo show in the United Kingdom explores notions of silence and protest by combining the artist’s ongoing interest in radical histories with new work responding to Dundee’s social heritage.

Ewan is interested in viewing history as alive, relevant and capable of configuring the future. Conceptually led but socially realised, her work takes specific historical images and sounds and renders them ‘active’ through use.

Brank & Heckle combines two conflicting ideas: ‘Brank’ refers to the Scottish word for the Scold’s Bridle, used to silence and torture women, while ‘Heckle’ refers to an act of spontaneous vocal engagement, said to have originated in Dundee’s jute mills.

Born in Aberdeen, Ruth Ewan grew up in Fife and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. Her work was featured in 2009’s Younger than Jesus at the New Museum in New York, and in Altermodern: Tate Triennial. Her project We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted To Be can currently be seen as part of the second Folkestone Triennial, and she has recently been announced as a contributor for next year’s Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.