Ruth Santee: Prelude for Mini Beasts

Ruth Santee: Prelude for Mini Beasts

Jan 8 —

All are invited to the Opening Reception, Sunday, January 8th from 2-5 pm.

Ruth Santee extends her long running fascination with insects and flowers as metaphors for the human experience in “Prelude for Mini Beasts,” a solo exhibition of her recent work at Transmission Gallery San Francisco running from January 8th to February 12th, 2023.

Santee presents work in outsize scale. Made with repurposed paper and cardboard and recycled plastics, Santee’s work is brightly colored in “happy” tones and with a decided dose of edgy humor thrown in. Deftly crafted paper mâché elements remind one of plastic toys and indeed, elements of plastic may be incorporated. Free standing larger-than-life flower personages occupy center stage in the exhibition, immediately capturing one’s attention. Presently, however, the presence of a myriad of insect forms emerges as an essential component of Santee’s evocative garden.

On the one hand insects may be considered delicate and vulnerable, their brief lives a symbol of the fleeting moments we spend here on earth. On the other, they can be thought of as the harbingers of a multitude of concerns that plague us and a force to be reckoned with. Often left out of the equation is a deep understanding of their essential connection to a thriving environment. Through many iterations Santee has used bugs as vehicles for pointing to the precariousness of life and our place in it, drawing attention to their value. More recently she’s been weaving in concepts of care and adornment embodied in our relationship with the beauty and delicacy of flowers. Here, insect mini-beasts engage with hand-made flora in a symbiotic relationship, cheerfully beckoning us in to examine the disconcerting details.

Also, see PINT SIZE: Small Scale Assemblage,  Transmission Gallery’s national call for entries exhibition showing concurrently with Prelude for Mini Beasts.

Transmission Gallery San Francisco is open during exhibitions Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-6pm. A short walk from 24th and Mission BART, there is also a city parking garage across the street (enter from 21st St.).

Ruth Santee. Pink Eyed Spider — mixed media, 4" x 4" x 3.5"