'And The Three Mothers Ask: Don't You Know Me?' - Performance by Ruth Barker
The Mackintosh Museum, GSA

Event Type:



The Mackintosh Museum The Glasgow School of Art 167 Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RQ


8 Apr 2011
18:00 - 19:00



Ruth Barker
in The Glasgow School of Art

'And The Three Mothers Ask: Don't You Know Me?' - Performance by Ruth Barker

Event info

'And The Three Mothers Ask: Don't You Know Me?'
Performance by Ruth Barker

Barker's performance finds resonances between Glob's ceramics and artefacts encountered through the Centre for Indisciplinary Artefact Studies (CIAS) at Newcastle University where the artist has been in residence during 2010/11.

Specifically, the new work And The Three Mothers Ask: Don't You Know Me? (2011) has emerged from a re-imagining of Romano-British sculptural artefacts depicting the 'Deae Matres'; narratively ambigious domestic deities often represented in triplicate, and "distinguished by being depictions of women either nursing infants or holding baskets of fruit, loaves, or other fertility symbols such as fish." (Miranda Green, The Gods of Roman Britain, Shire Archaeology 2003).

The performance consists of a poetic text, written by Barker, which will be recited by the artist three times within the exhibition space. The work re-suggests the Deae Matres as contemporary phenomona, translating their attributes into vivid, current, images that place locate the artist's gesture simultaneously in registers both present and ancient.

In a recurring refrain the artist refers to the audience as being 'Forwarned in a dream;' a reference both to a commonly translated Romano-British phrase referring to individuals 'contacted' by deities, and to the experience of the audience themselves who, it is suggested, may have previouly missed the Deae Matres' demands for recognition.

The performance features a new bespoke garment designed by Lesley Hepburn.

Ruth Barker is an artist based in Glasgow. Her performance work involves scripting and memorising substantial literary monologues that draw on classical or mythological narratives, but remake them as resonant, current, events. She uses traditional techniques of mnemonic and storytelling to create challenging new performance works in a visual arts context.

This performance forms part of the exhibition 'The Erratics.'