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Ruth Philipon: The Planets

Born in Toronto, Ruth Philipon grew up in England during World War II. She was educated in England and in France, and is related to Josiah Wedgwood, founder of Wedgwood China.  Ruth has been a much-loved volunteer and exhibiting artist at the Morean for decades.

A self-professed “frustrated sculptor,” Ruth creates dimensional artwork from paper. From a flat sheet of paper, she bends, folds, rolls and weaves, adding textures and objects, continually pushing the boundaries of all the materials. Her background in etching and painting led to her studio practice today.

As her style evolved, she continued to recognize the importance of color in her work: “Color conveys emotional power, intellect and passion. It can be subtle, bold or haunting.” About using paper as a medium, Ruth says, “Creating with paper creates a more spontaneous impact. One move begets another, until the work really flows, dances or sings. It is truly a wondrous metamorphosis. Sometimes I feel like a magician, or shaman, or choreographer—a pictorial storyteller.”

Ruth’s current body of work, and her studio practice for the past several months, has revolved around creating an image for each of the planets. A world-traveler, she is now setting her sights on the outer realm, rendering space in her signature colorful, detailed style: “As a paper artist and storyteller, I like to create series based on a single theme, then I proceed on a visual journey. The Planets started with Jupiter (the largest) in September 2021, with the following 8 planets ending with Mercury (the smallest) 12 months later in September 2022. What an awesome, challenging, colorful journey.”