Continuing the Countdown: Marbleous Roo on her art, Bristol and Carrie Fisher
Ahead of Interact Art Fair this weekend, Lydia Shacklock interviews Bristol University student, Ruth Bannister - the marble artist behind the Fair's logo and one of the many exciting Bristol creatives who will be showcasing their work at the Station Kitchen.
L: What made you begin marbling?
R: I started marbling to create interesting textured backgrounds for a large botanical watercolour and ink painting whilst studying AS art at sixth form. I loved the organic patterning and how the forms looks like cells and botanicals under the microscope.
L: Has your work changed since then?
R: I first created my marbling inks by mixing crushed up oil pastels and turpentine in tupperware and then years on I discovered marbling inks. I started exploring traditional techniques and marbling with size and acrylic paint but I love the forms and details I can achieve with the inks on paper. My marbling work now is very spontaneous, freeform, and therapeutic. It is art in its own right - not merely a background for another media as I used to use it - and now much bolder and more graphic than my first pieces. I have a vast collection of original marbled papers but also marble objects as original art accessories and love digitising my work to create incredible layered and manipulated artworks.
L: Who or what most inspires your art?
R: Traditional book binders and their traditional paper marbling is incredibly inspiring; to see the control and variety of patterning that can be produced is so impressive! My take on marbling is mostly inspired by my own curiosity and love to play around with colour and form. I'm so inspired by colour and the natural world and minerals, space and botanicals often drive my colour selection and inspire the patterns I create on the waters surface.
L: Do you have a favourite quote?
R: Right now my favourite quote is from Carrie Fisher, gifted to us at the recent Golden Globes by Meryl Streep- "Take your broken heart, make it into art". I love it and it's so true. So much of my own marbling is a product of throwing myself into my art during tough patches of life.
L: At what time of day are you most creative?
R: I'm my most creative at night. I'm a little owl and I love to lay out my inks and marble away way past midnight and into the early hours. I do most of my editing and digital work at night when I can't sleep too.
L: How do you spend your time when you’re not creating?
R: When I'm not marbling or editing or doing something related I'm often with my friends, studying, cooking or I can often be caught napping! I'm a keen traveller but being a student again has put a hold on my exploring for a little while!
L: Where are your favourite places in Bristol?
R: I'm still fairly new to Bristol but I love the beautiful views of Brandon Hill Park and the familiarity of the triangle as a newbie here. Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft are really cool and I'm keen to explore them some more.
L: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
R: In 5 years I hope to be marbling as per in my spare time but I also want to have a set up a business or enterprise of some kind. I study innovation here at Bristol and my goal has long been to be an entrepreneur.
L: What attracted you to Interact Art Fair? What are you most looking forward to?
R: I saw the post about the exhibition on the Fine Art Society's Facebook page and I knew I wanted to apply straight away. I really want to get out there and get involved with the massive creative community in Bristol. I'm new to the city and thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase some of my work in the community, perhaps sell a little and get to know some interesting people in the process. I love that it's student run and showcases student talent together in one place.
To see more of Roo’s MARBLEOUS work and even give it a go yourself, pop along to The Station Kitchen for Interact Art Fair on May 6th. You can also follow @interactartfair on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website at to find out more about the artists who will be exhibiting on the day.