Ruth Maclennan is an artist. Her work includes films, multi-channel moving image installations, photographs, performances, writing and interdisciplinary research and curatorial projects. Maclennan’s films and photographs explore how the climate emergency has irrevocably transformed ways of seeing and understanding landscape and place – both for their inhabitants, and as representation. Informed by ecological thinking, cross-disciplinary research and fieldwork, her works examine places through the relationships, cultures, geographical conditions, and stories that form them.
Ruth Maclennan’s most recent film project Treeline is made up of hundreds of clips and sound recordings of forests and trees contributed from around the world in response to an open call. A commission for Film and Video Umbrella and Forestry England, Treeline is being exhibited online to coincide with COP26, and in forthcoming presentations at Hunterian Gallery, Glasgow and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton. Maclennan is currently working on a film-workshop project Approaching Zero with FVU and the Arctic Art Institute, supported by the British Council, Moscow.
Maclennan is a member of the artists’ collective The Crown Letter, a weekly online publication initiated by the artist Natacha Nisic in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Exhibitions include The Crown Letter at Centro Cultural Cordoba, Argentina, and at MAPI Museum of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art in Montevideo, Uruguay, curated by Bienal Sur, The International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South; and The Crown Letter at Fondation Fiminco, curated by PhotoDays, Paris.
Maclennan’s films, Cloudberries (2019), Hero City (2016) and Call of North (2014), shot in the Russian Arctic, premiered at the London Film Festival and her solo exhibition Icebreaker Dreaming was at Pushkin House (2019-20). Her film Theodosia was shot in Crimea a year before its annexation by Russia. It was screened at ICA, London, and in the solo exhibition, The Faces They Have Vanished. Anarcadia, made in the steppes of Kazakhstan (FVU and John Hansard Gallery) toured the UK and international film festivals. Other exhibitions and projects include Somewhere Becoming Sea, (FVU, Hull City of Culture) Terrapolis, (French School Athens, curated by Whitechapel Gallery), Interspecies (Arts Catalyst, Cornerhouse), State of Mind an exhibition and debates with artists, scientists and social scientists on contemporary understandings of the brain at London School of Economics, Archway Polytechnic, and The Archives Project Leverhulme Artist’s Residency at LSE. Her films are held in public and private collections, including Wellcome Collection and Centre Pasqu’Art, Biel. She teaches artists’ moving image at Central Saint Martins and Open College of the Arts. She has a PhD in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art and a Masters of Fine Art from Goldsmiths, and in Modern Languages from Cambridge University. Maclennan is a Research Associate at Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University. LUX Artists’ Moving Image distributes her films.