Ruby Andromeda Miller is based in Michigan’s upper peninsula, right along the coast of the majestic Lake Superior. Originally from Mid-Michigan, she grew up in the Lansing area and earned her BFA in Sculpture at Grand Valley State University and an Associates in Welding Technology at Grand Rapids Community College. She has shown work and taught in both Michigan and New York.
Most of Ruby’s work plays with notions of memory and the ‘ghosts’ fostered in the everyday objects that surround us. She works with a variety of methods and materials- carefully drawn walnuts, thread-webbed scraps of metal, manipulated, beaded, cast metals, welded steel, collaged and painted bits of fabric joined with ambiguous found objects. One of her most common working methods is to apply textile techniques to alternative materials- for example; metals, found objects and trash materials.
These materials and methods point to edges, physical and metaphorical. Influenced by her rural upbringing where the borders between the natural and artificial world were fuzzier- assemblages often incorporate materials that have lived out their useful life and end up suspended in states of relative decay. Sometimes there is an element of sweetness and sentimentality, but always with a shade of the feral. Other pieces speak more directly to the ways in which living along an edge leaves one vulnerable to unpredictable forces and makes the point that nature often lacks a sense of justice. It explores the detritus of human habitation and the natural world in a way that invites my audience to see themselves as fellow animals, ultimately using the same resources/spaces and leaving things behind.
These transformations invite engagement with a greater degree of curiosity and creativity. It is through sharing her careful observations and surprising combinations that she hopes to inspire her audience to look at the world around them with a heightened sense of the vibrant, magical and mysterious.
Mindful Observational Drawing
My current project is developing a program to cultivate and teach Mindful Observational Drawing (MOD). MOD is a practice of drawing what you see, all and only what you see, without attachment to the finished product by combining drawing techniques with mindfulness and meditative principles and methods. It is a practice of using ones sense of sight for deep listening to the world around us, developing a deeper sense of connection, acceptance and reaping the benefits mindfulness practice has been shown to produce.
The bulk of this program currently exists in writing, but a podcast- the MODcast (ha!)- is in the works as a precursor to live workshops and online instruction in this practice. The blog is an excellent place to start if you’re interested in learning more about this program. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to get in touch with me through the Contact page.