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This piece 'Where have you been?' was painted as part of a pair for 'The Land of I exhibition' (2021) which explored identity and the artist's sense of self. 
‘Where are you from?’ Is a question that Ruth October is familiar to. When people don’t quite know where to place you or what box you fit into they want to know more. 

Ruth October's Granny sung on a boat to get over the waters and escape Apartheid in South Africa. When she came to the UK she married and had a family. Another generation after and a young artist would emerge and develop their own identity linking to experiences written from those before her and the vibrancy of her own life. October was her Granny's maiden name and is a constant nod to her within her artwork.

Using her usually technique of responding to a feeling, experience or emotion Ruth October created two works to sit together. Instead of the question ‘where are you from?’ the first piece ‘where have you been’? reflects on who you are now because of what you and your ancestors have been through. What lands did they see? Languages did they speak? What have they passed onto you?

‘Where are you going?’ was then created with the thought where will you go? What generations will come after you? What will their identity be in an ever changing world and heritage that will make up who they are?

Acrylic painting on A4 paper mounted in a black gallery frame
Ready to hang
33 x 43 cm

'Where have you been?' framed original

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