Ruth Ewan (b. 1980) is an artist based in Glasgow. Her work addresses ideas of power and questions representations of time, rebellion and repression. Her work grows from context-specific research resulting in a wide variety of forms including events, public works, performance, writing, large scale installations and print.
Ewan's projects often foreground obscure moments in history, and she is particularly interested in grassroots protests and social movements. Engaging with the circulation of radical ideas and social movements, her work explores the processes by which ideas take form and spread from individuals to society.
In 2012 Ewan explored these themes in her collaboration with Dovecot, when she was selected to design a rug as part of the Carpets of Distinction exhibition. This partnership was a collection of new works curated by arts organisation Panel and made by seven contemporary artists in collaboration with Dovecot Master Weaver Jonathan Cleaver. Ewan's rug design was inspired by the weavers’ strike in Glasgow’s Calton district in 1787. Feline heads bearing shuttles between their teeth feature on Calton’s coat of arms, referring to an ancient vow supposedly made by weavers: ‘I will eat the shuttle ere I reveal the secrets of the craft’.