Anna Ruth’s love for nature shows in her every brushstroke. The Prague-based artist and musician conjures sensual and yet mysterious images, which never lose their touch with playfulness and a gentle joy. In today’s interview, you will learn about her relationship to the living world and its representation in her art.

About following three paintings of dog breed  “barzoi” / I’m trying to capture how much I adore the fragility of these bodies. They seem so ethereal. They’re not even animals, they’re spirits. Enchanted souls that speak in poems and riddles. They have taken on the shape-shifting form of an animal body.

How would you describe your process of creating artworks, from the idea to realization?

My work is very intuitive now. I try to be as open as possible. Specific plans in advance tie me down and often prevent me from starting something. But my need to paint is practically constant, so often I just start blind until I find exactly what the canvas is asking for. I like to work on several paintings at the same time, if I lose my way in one, I find it in another. In some rare cases it’s done in a few hours, other times it takes several months to complete a painting. When I get stuck I try not to go crazy and release the energy that wants to come out in music.

Why do you quite often choose dogs and weasels as the main motifs in your paintings, and are there any particular stories behind them?

My personal mythology and the meanings of the symbols I use is something that connects my paintings across time and different periods. I love the forest and everything that grows, decay, moss, light, swamps, various creatures, fire, roots, weapons, pearls, tears, human body parts, especially lips. And I paint dogs, cats, weasels and snakes and frog tadpoles a lot.

Each of these animals carries with it a different energy, they are strongly archetypal. The snake is always changing, shedding its skin but still has the same form. Sometimes it’s a symbol of sexuality, wisdom, pleasure… Sometimes it’s a demon or enemy. Cats are very funky animals for me, I like to give them human roles. In the beginning, they helped me to lighten the heavy content of my older paintings and they have stayed with me until today, but gradually the dog paintings are now dominating them… Weasels can be me, I have identified with them on some special level for a long time.

I prefer the content of my paintings to remain unspoken. I’m curious about what you see in them, I know what I have invested in them, and I’m interested in how their story through different people’s eyes may be completely different from mine. I listen and learn something new about you and about the painting too.

"I repeat the symbols as long as they evoke strong emotions in me.
I don't actively search for their meaning. But I know I'm strongly attracted to them and I want the reason to remain a mystery even to myself."

Are you currently preparing any exhibitions or projects we can look forward to?

I’m preparing for my thesis this year. For the first time, I will try to process the environment of my paintings physically, to materialize them into sculptures and a stage where I will perform my singing. I want the viewer to feel my cause in the most authentic way. I’m really looking forward to it.

With our current theme being “Who Let the Dogs Out”, what animal would you like to have as a lifetime companion, realistic or fantastic?

I’d choose a sea dog! A snuggle baby… soft and furry. The only creature I’ve ever felt maternal feelings for. What would you choose?

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Anna Ruth and her work is inextricably linked to nature, which is her refuge and inexhaustible inspiration… A fascination with everything that grows and lives its own life is her typical characteristic. The author creates personal mythology around herself, influenced by her forest experiences or the stories from Javanese culture. Elements of slightly naive or even parodic drawing, which can be found, for example, in works inspired by cat bodies, are balanced by Anna’s realistic paintings of forests or fragments of human bodies. Her artistic expression is complete in conjunction with the experimental ethereal music she creates under the pseudonym Koruth.


Artworks / Anna Ruth @koruth_

Interview / Markéta Kosinová

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