Belonging and longing for home

Ruth HartleyDisplacement, Family, History, Home, identity, Journeys, Migration, pilgrimage, Slavery, Zambia, Zimbabwe2 Comments

Settlers and the unsettled I grew up in a settler community of new homes but the land we took was already the home of African peoples. Many of my school friends’ families were Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe who had nowhere else to go and hoped one day to go to Israel. I quote from a friend Paul M who […]

We need new names and new roles

Ruth HartleyFamily, Names6 Comments

Do we marry a person or marry a wife or husband? We were a new family, my mother, stepfather, two step-sisters, my sister and me. I was 16 years old when my mother and stepfather had a bitter argument – a natural part of adapting to a new relationship. My mother in utter misery, took to her bed weeping and […]

Elles sont tombées

Ruth HartleyWomen, Women's Bodies,, Women's Education, Women's Rights4 Comments

The fall of Kabul to the Taliban has filled me with despair for the future and hopes of women there and for women everywhere. I felt driven to once again show the paintings I made about the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre together with my installation about women. It is on show in the Foyer Rural in Labatut-Riviere […]

Food is Love and Love is Food and both are needed

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Apartheid, Art3 Comments

Lovely Men and the Politics of Food One thing leads to another. I have tomato blight in my potager so I gathered all the green tomatoes I could before they turned black and then went on a hunt for a green tomato chutney recipe. My modern South African cookbook makes use of tinned products and tame store-bought spices so I […]

Oak Apples, Ink and Writing

Ruth HartleyAfrica4 Comments

Walking to the river ‘Look! ‘I said as John and I walked to the river. ‘Oak apples!’ I stopped surprised at myself. ‘How do I know that’s what they are? How did I recognise them?’ I’m not English, I haven’t ever lived in the English countryside and I haven’t spent that many years in Europe. Where did that piece of […]