Ruth Maclennan is a video artist who is interested in the use of public spaces, a fascination which stems from her days studying Russian at Maurice Thorèse Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow in 1989-90. Here, the artist witnessed conceptual art installed and performed in squatted Baroque studios and unofficial public spaces.
In 2000, Ruth completed an MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, which led to a Leverhulme artists residency at the London School of Economics where she discovered how architecture and design affect human behaviour.
Afterwards, Ruth Maclennan created a series of films such as “Capital”, “Valley of Castles” and “Anarcadia” dealing with landscapes and the traces of past actions. In Anarcadia, an archaeologist and a prospector, each project desires and experiences on to a space in the desert. The two characters imaginings are fed by ideas related to the desert's buried meanings and future possibilities. This is a theme typical of Maclennan's work, as she often creates narratives about the collisions of different desires and points of view related to a public space.
In 2007, Ruth Maclennan worked with The Arts Catalyst as part of the 2nd International Artists Airshow at Gunpowder Park. Here, Ruth encouraged a trained eagle to document the moving public on the ground.
In 2009, Maclennan produced a participatory project “The Department of Eagles” for The Arts Catalyst's “Interspecies” event examining the communications between falconers and falcons. For centuries, these birds have served to naturalise human surveillance. Arguably, their existence only continues today through human interventions such as tagging, breeding programmes, and the construction of artificial nesting environments.