November 2007: Chalk on Wood is Ruth’s most powerful completed piece of work to date. It was a temporary installation that took place on Sunday November 11th 2007 in the fading shadow of the once glorious Folkestone Harbour Station.
Driven by intense feelings of compassion for the fate, of those young forgotten lives, in WW1 and the imminent destruction of the station, Ruth was inspired by a “tender letter” written by a Canadian soldier in 1917. She spent four hours painting with chalk from Folkestone’s shoreline, upon her canvas, the wooden planks of the harbour arm.
The original planking is in a very precarious state and that, coupled with a rising tide, rendered her very vulnerable. However, not ten minutes after completion of the work, a rainbow appeared in the sky; what an accolade.
Symbolically the fragility of the work mirrors the temporary brief lives of the soldiers who passed that way. The exposure of the text, encompassing the dreams and hopes of the young soldier’s life, seemed prematurely and hauntingly washed into the sea by the rain and salt spray.
How very sad that the only memory to the millions, who departed these shores from Folkestone Harbour Station, some bound for certain death, will be obliterated by a concrete erasure.
Click ‘play’ below for an audio description of the project.