Today we virutally visited Brie Ruais in her Brooklyn studio.  Ruais is a sculpture artist whose works emulate those of performance art and investigates aesthetic relationships.

Beginning with an amount of clay that is equivalent to her body weight, she pushes and pulls the clay to create ephemeral sculptures inspired by landscapes and her own experiences. In doing so, Ruais creates a meaningful dialogue between these natural landscapes and her artificial sculptures.

These works are rather large in size and often span six feet in diameter, causing viewers to feel dwarfed. Their scale in relation to the vastness of the landscape(s) they represent thoroughly explores the relationship between the land, its resources, and human consumption. 

Desiccating From Center (Salton Sea), 130lbs, 2019. Glazed and pigmented stoneware, hardware. 83 x 80 x 2 inches

Ruais later went on to discuss her love for drone photography. This medium is taking something that we only observe in the horizontal realm and recreating it in a vertical space, giving viewers a different perspective of the landscape. In doing so, Ruais explores their relationship to gravity and endurance, obstacles she must overcome when moving and installing large amounts of clay vertically. This photo documentation is also a way for Ruais to capture the life of an ephemeral piece over time and it’s changing relationship to its environment, as well as the environment itself.  

Ruais’ studio visit was extremely insightful and compelled me to reflect upon my own experiences and perceptions of the natural landscape. Thinking about reciprocity and how I can give back to the earth in my own practices, I am inspired by Ruais to be more attuned to my artificial and natural environment. I also aim to pursue a career that, just as Ruais, resonates with me and gives something a new meaning.

Her dedication is extremely compelling and we vividly see this ardor translated into her sculptures. It transforms her work beyond the traditional clay sculpture into an oeuvre that is deeply connected with the natural landscape and aware of both the organic and artificial changes taking place. Ruais has fulfilled her role as an artist who recontextualizes and amplifies her work in a way that forces viewers to rethink these relationships through material exploration.