Cheryl Ruddock is a painter from Guelph, Canada, who has been exhibiting widely for over 20 years. Her practice has always explored and pushed the boundaries of colour. Her figurative subjects include recurring mythic symbols, such as the female form, empty clothing, and dessicated botanicals; her subjects also include abstract strata such as the grid and the color field.
Ruddock's paintings dissolve the border of abstraction in a balancing act that has images both emerging in the foreground and receding in the background, materializing and de-materializing into colour. This sets the stage for multiple—harmonious and conflicting—readings.
Ruddock typically works with oil on canvas or acrylic on canvas, including shaped canvas bound to wooden forms. Periodically, she creates monoprints with master printer Stu Oxley at the Riverside Press, in Elora, Ontario.
Her paintings belong to public, private, and corporate collections across Canada and the United States.
A career survey of her work was held at the Macdonald Stewart Art Center, in 2011. For a history of solo and group exhibitions, please see artist CV.
"Cheryl Ruddock's work is about a re-valuing of the spiritual, in a knowing and tentative but altogether convincing manner for an artist working in the twenty-first century. It is not an act of discursive avoidance or overwrought sentiment; instead, it exists in the fissures of the work, where colour, once descriptive, mingles tantalizingly with pure retinal bliss. There is a space created at that point of optical departure a shifting back and forth between congealing and dissolving, imagery and field, that is both visually satisfying and psychically unnerving. It is that place where language starts to slip and things are not what they appear. Ruddock's work brings with it a slightly unsettling sense of hovering. In this heightened state, a viewer can legitimately reinvest in the notion of the spiritual."
- John Kissick
"Cheryl Ruddock's painting slips between narrative and noose, body and sheath, skin and cavity, where one or all of these elements are grafted onto canvas, handmade paper, or bound vessel. Ruddocks imagery is both diaphanous and visceral, borne from observation and of artifact, tapped into the subconscious and the spiritual. Her paintings are also richly and robustly made from paint, wood, canvas, and paper."
- Dawn Owen, AGOG