#3 - Ruth Ingram / NW1 / 1975
I have known Ruth through my mother, Anne Boileau, for a few years. Ruth and Anne are in a poetry translation group together and I was once involved in helping to design a book cover for an anthology. In the past, Ruth has come to see exhibitions or events I have been involved in - most recently, a performance I participated in for artist/choreographer Mette Edvardsen, as part of Dance Umbrella in 2013. That day Ruth was wearing some amazing sunglasses - red, and big and brilliant and I took a pic of her on my phone. So with this project and knowing that Ruth has lived in Camden for nearly 40 years, she seemed a very good person to approach.
We met at her house, which I had been to before, but I had never had time alone with her before. Tea and biscuits were laid out and as Ruth spoke about first seeing the house with her late husband in 1975, of falling house prices, how derelict this part of town was then, and of a burglar she encountered on the window sill one night (giving her a huge smile when she entered the room), of a girl staying with them after she ran away from home age 15, as well as of all the poetry and art events Ruth has organised and hosted here (Highgate Poets & other groups) we munched on these biscuits and slurped tea. (Sorry if you can hear this between stories.)
Afterwards, when we had finished recording, we went up to the top floor, where Ruth has her studio. The printing table, dressmaker's dummy, sewing machine table and the smell of chemicals, along with the view of Camden rooftops is impressive. Ruth shows me some of her work, and directs me to shoot the video from the roof terrace, to show the street that has been her home since 1975.
For reasons of privacy the video is not publicly viewable online, and there is no map for this Encounter.