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01/04/23 - 22/04/23

Ruby Bateman

'PASSAGE' is the body of painted work which portrays several sites, artifacts, and landmarks that Ruby intends to visit on her forthcoming pilgrimage. The exhibition envisages the path ahead for Bateman, capturing some of the transformative experiences she hopes to encounter over the rocky, sandy, and soil terrain of her ancestral home. Through her artwork, Ruby manifests the steps and sights that will shape her journey, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of pilgrimage.
“In recent years, I have felt a strong pull towards pilgrimage and have made a promise to myself to embark on this journey for my 30th birthday. Satish Kumar's book, 'No Destination', detailing his extraordinary life and his pilgrimage of peace from India to America in protest against nuclear war, brought to my attention the ritualistic significance of pilgrimage as a means of embarking on new phases in life.”
Embarking on a pilgrimage involves a journey of self-discovery and seeking out new or expanded meanings about oneself, others, nature, or a higher purpose through the act of walking. This transformative experience often leads to a significant shift in the pilgrim's perspective, which they can carry with them upon their return to their daily life. In historical times, pilgrimage was a rare moment when social and political boundaries could be temporarily relaxed. Anyone, regardless of their social class, profession, caste, or gender, could pursue the shared goal of enlightenment.
“What better way to contemplate the existentialism of ageing than by connecting with Britain's ancient past, touching the sarsen stones, walking through celestial arches of cathedrals, and dipping a hand into sacred wells that offer cures for a variety of ailments? These sites are all connected along an energetic pathway that has been traversed for centuries, serving as a profound reminder of our heritage and roots, and our responsibility to care for nature in the present. By learning to walk respectfully and mindfully as a pilgrim, I will be taking a rewarding step towards the next phase of womanhood.”
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