THE TATE PROJECT

The line of totality for the solar eclipse on August 11 1999 at 11.11 hit land first in West Cornwall. Tate St Ives marked this phenomenon by presenting As Dark As Light, a programme of contemporary arts events in which artists were commissioned to make new work in response to the eclipse and to the specific geography and history of the area.

Ruth and composer Graham Fitkin were invited to devise a project at the Tate Gallery, St Ives involving new work and local communities.

Their aims were to place live music in a different environment, encourage creative composition and enable music to be created for ‘encountering’ rather than formalised concert listening.

They initially ran creative workshops aimed at stimulating compositional processes and based on the beauty of simplicity. The participants were encouraged to create their own music for performance in the gallery and were assisted by follow up ’guidance’ sessions.

The new work for the Tate was inspired by the paintings of Yuko Shiraishi and Ruth was ‘installed’ in the gallery. Several times a day, for seven consecutive days, she performed the new compositions in the main gallery amidst Yuko’s paintings.