Ruth Barker

Circle Work

CCA Glasgow
Circle Work Circle Work Circle Work Circle Work Circle Work Circle Work Circle Work: chorus script Circle Work

Circle Work is a new performance for the theatre of CCA Glasgow, during which I speak from within an ad-hoc paper mountain that is part sculptural installation and part large-scale performance garment (designed with Lesley Hepburn). Taking a shamanic descent into - and re-emergence through - landscape as its starting point, the work speaks to shifting states of being, bin bags caught in trees, and a schoolgirl who believes that she is turning into a horse.

Photography by Christopher MacInnes.

Video documentation here:

A video of this work was screened as part of the exhibition A Beauty Center, by Yeo Chee Kiong, at NAFA, Singapore (April 2016).


Circle Work, CCA Glasgow.

7.30 pm, Monday 30th November.

Circle Work is Ruth Barker’s most ambitious performance to date, and has been developed specifically for CCA’s Theatre. A complex and immersive experience, it features spoken word, installation, and costume.

Ruth Barker is a Glasgow-based visual artist specialising in writing and performance. Her spoken word performance works, often involving substantial literary or poetic monologues that the artist scripts herself, are known for their hypnotic intensity. With multilayered reference points including ancient myths, personal autobiography, and daily ephemera, Barker’s words have a concentrated focus that is magical, and interrogative. Her work exists as radio broadcasts, live performance, text-based work, and moving image fragments.

Circle Work will extend Barker’s interest in autobiography, feminist writing practice, and unconscious associations, through a new work that adopts the form of a provisional séance. By turns thoughtful, engrossing, hypnotic, or darkly humorous, Circle Work is a preternatural metaphysical experience. The performance will reveal unexpected connections, and slivers of strange finitude. The work will be performed once only at CCA, and has been devised for a limited number of audience members, so early booking is advised.