Born 1971, Adelaide, South Australia
Ruth McDougall is conscious that her preferred medium, weaving, occupies an especially marginal position in contemporary artmaking. However, for McDougall, this quality is a virtue, parallelling her own sense of self and struggle with the extreme condition of anorexia nervosa – the constant subject of her work. A consequence of over–control more so than incapacity, the "refusal–to–eat" is grandly analogous to the outsider in society, the person who is unwilling or unable to enter the mainstream.
With survival at stake and suffocated by the desire to "take to the bed and give up on the world", McDougall acts to transform "refusal" into a resistance of further decline and the tendency to refuge. Using the satisfying and meditative discipline of weaving in works based on the image of an anorexic, she manifests and wrestles with her dark angel.
Ross Wolfe from his Samstag essay, Samstag The First Millenium
1993 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
1993 Diploma in Textiles, Goldsmiths College, London, UK
1991 Bachelor of Visual Arts, University of South Australia, Adelaide