Well, after all the hints and teasers, the secret is out. Ruth
is back with a new show, with an all new set of dance routines, and most importantly a new dance partner, Jessica
. And as the poster says: 'If you thought Ruth was incredible, wait until you see Jessica'.
This all started with a wicked idea.
Those of you who've been following me for awhile will know that a theme that runs through most if not all my work is depicting the gap between what the world assumes a severely amputated person should
be capable of doing and what they actually are
doing, making believable the seeming impossibility of that activity in the face of the limitations that multiple amputations should impose. I've said before that the larger that gap is the more fascinating. So when Ruth (a literal torso who nevertheless is living a life as active and fulfilled as any able-bodied person) crept into my imagination, and Tomalee
made the brilliant suggestion that she should be a dancer, I couldn't resist the challenge of making that impossibility
real. And then I had to write a (partial as yet) account
of her life
and show a glimpse of her
and her partner's
lives and even expose her medical records
Along the way I also did some pictures of Jessica
who by stages
ends up even more reduced
And then the idea popped into my head. Ruth, for all her disabilities is still pretty believably active I think; Jessica, on the other hand...
But what if she was a dancer too once? And what if she and Ruth could meet? And what if she became Ruth's dancing partner...
I started to sketch a few ideas of how it might happen. And what the final show might involve. And I started to jot down a few notes and snippets of writing. In the end what emerged was a fairly lengthy account of how Jessica came to be Ruth's dance partner, a story
which also, incidentally, reveals more about Ruth and Kami's and Jessica and her partner David's, lives. There's a new show poster
. And there are two pictures
from the new show. I'll upload them all shortly.
I really hope you enjoy them. I got quite involved in the story and the pictures... it's weird but Ruth, Kami, David and Jessica have become quite real to me, almost as if I could bump into them next time I leave the house! So have I met the challenge and succeeded in making the 'even more impossible' real? I don't know. You be the judge. And please let me know one way or the other, either here or on the pictures / story. I'd love to know what you think!