•  Stratus, 2002, burnished aquatint, carbon & graphite, 420 x 300mm. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Stratus, 2002, burnished aquatint, carbon & graphite, 420 x 300mm. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Ambulate, 2002, burnished aquatint & pastel, 300 x 200mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Ambulate, 2002, burnished aquatint & pastel, 300 x 200mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Filament, 2002, burnished aquatint, carbon & graphite, 200 x 278mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Filament, 2002, burnished aquatint, carbon & graphite, 200 x 278mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Emollient, 2002, graphite, burnished aquatint, carbon & pastel, 200 x 270mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Emollient, 2002, graphite, burnished aquatint, carbon & pastel, 200 x 270mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Sonorous, 2002, graphite, burnished aquatint, carbon & pastel, 200 x 270mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Sonorous, 2002, graphite, burnished aquatint, carbon & pastel, 200 x 270mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Nimbus, 2002, burnished aquatint, pastel, carbon & graphite, 200 x 435mm, private collection

    Nimbus, 2002, burnished aquatint, pastel, carbon & graphite, 200 x 435mm, private collection

  •  Murmur, 2001, carbon, graphite, monotype, drypoint & pastel, 395 x 410mm, first prize Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award 2001, private collection

    Murmur, 2001, carbon, graphite, monotype, drypoint & pastel, 395 x 410mm, first prize Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award 2001, private collection

  •  Silver, 2001, monotype, screen print, pastel, carbon & graphite, 300 x 375mm, Eastern Southland Gallery collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Silver, 2001, monotype, screen print, pastel, carbon & graphite, 300 x 375mm, Eastern Southland Gallery collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Flicker, 2001, burnished aquatint, pastel & graphite, 270 x 200mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Flicker, 2001, burnished aquatint, pastel & graphite, 270 x 200mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Tinge, 2001, burnished aquatint, pastel & graphite, 200 x 278mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Tinge, 2001, burnished aquatint, pastel & graphite, 200 x 278mm, private collection. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Smoulder, 2001, burnished aquatint, pastel & graphite, 200 x 345mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Smoulder, 2001, burnished aquatint, pastel & graphite, 200 x 345mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Resonance, 2001, burnished aquatint & pastel, 200 x 345mm, edition of 5. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Resonance, 2001, burnished aquatint & pastel, 200 x 345mm, edition of 5. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Redolent, 2001, burnished aquatint & pastel, 300 x 200mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Redolent, 2001, burnished aquatint & pastel, 300 x 200mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Untitled, 2000, monotype, burnished drypoint & carbon, 110 x 248mm

    Untitled, 2000, monotype, burnished drypoint & carbon, 110 x 248mm

  •  Fuscous, 2000, burnished aquatint, pastel, carbon & graphite, 200 x 300mm, edition of 5. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Fuscous, 2000, burnished aquatint, pastel, carbon & graphite, 200 x 300mm, edition of 5. Photo: Bill Nichol

  •  Cumulous, 2000, burnished aquatint, graphite & pastel, 200 x 300mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

    Cumulous, 2000, burnished aquatint, graphite & pastel, 200 x 300mm, edition of 4. Photo: Bill Nichol

Ruth Cleland at the Hocken Library by Cassandra Fusco, Asian Art News Sept/Oct 2002

Cleland's most recent exhibition, entitled
Saunter, demonstrates how and why Dunedin enjoys such a high profile in New Zealand print circles. Cleland has a genuine sensitivity for, and ability in, the burnished aquatint.

Saunter considers interior and exterior spaces, corners of rooms, sections of ceilings, cornices, fixtures - areas familiar yet often overlooked, here reviewed from decidedly unusual angles. The resultant spaces are intriguing and lend themselves not to disorientation but the beckoning realms of reverie whereby detailed, mimetic drawing gives way to dissolves of thought.

Any single image in
Saunter, as the title suggests, invites pause. In each, proximity and distance are juxtaposed: a ceiling is joined to the sky, a room is somehow joined to a distant one. In Resonance, for example, beside some elaborate Victorian 'velvet' wallpaper, flat planes of colour and line join company with a glowing lampshade. It is, the mind tells us, suspended from a plaster ceiling, but the eye finds it rising up, spindly and straight, triggering inquiry.

A similar certain unease moves through
Smoulder where electric wall socket plugs do just that - smoulder. And, is Redolent another unsafe territory? Here, a beautiful anaglypta ceiling runs out before us like an elegant Robert Adams floor. To the right, marring this "other time" ceiling, there is a utilitarian neon light.

Once you think past the meticulously "recorded" surfaces of these tightly adept and beautifully textured works, the viewer will find questions the answers to which the artist declines to give, preferring instead to almost seduce us into daydream. Cleland says that she perceives reverie as something highly productive rather than idle. She persuades us to consider not only the superbly mimetic, upside-down, and juxtaposed spaces depicted, but also the subtle shifts in tone and detail within these and what they might suggest. It is in the exploration of these smaller "movements," she intimates that we will be best rewarded.
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