Drawing with ink and rainwater, in the confined space of walking my garden during lockdown, led me to travel in my imagination from a small garden puddle to a landscape of possibilities and a wider elemental exploration of place, of land and sea, earth and water. As I tried to contain, trace around and rescue inky edges from disappearing into the page, an imaginary world appeared. Mapping the same area repeatedly over a period of time, each Puddle World drawing shows slight shifts of boundaries and borders, echoing the impact of political and climate change. No longer able to continue my long-distance journeys, drawing along the way, I instead turned to the ground of my garden, finding in it a wider space to roam that stretched beyond its physical and material boundaries.
Ruth Broadbent’s creative practice is inspired by nature and ecology, and informed by her interdisciplinary academic background in art, sociology, human rights and languages. Her work draws on a fascination with line; imagined lines; lines in and across landscape; lines mapped by walking and cycling ancient tracks and waterways. Connecting with a place or doodling on a page, often leads her to dive deeper into considering how we respond to history, culture and communication. Alongside exhibiting her artwork, she teaches drawing and sculpture, is a member of drawing, walking and ecology artist networks, and creates events for organisations and festivals.