The following work ‘Dear Ruth/ Dear Eddie’ is from ‘Object Lessons’ an exhibition curated by Sophie Perry in collaboration with the Working class movement library and Islington Mill both are located in Salford, England. Eight artists were asked to respond to pieces from the archive the group show was exhibited at the WCML and Islington Mill’s gallery in 2011.
Eddie and Ruth Frow founded the library and were both intense collectors of working class history. Both Eddie and Ruth have now died but during a four year period of living apart they wrote to each other everyday these letters have remained in the libraries archive. I had the privilege of reading through their letters and was inspired by them and their relationship. I wanted to make a piece of work that celebrated Ruth and Eddie but would also give the letters a new sense of life.
Using brown labels I selected specific text from the letters that subjects ranged from house work to politics to romantic sentiments. I typed, letterpress printed and letraset these texts and hung a hundred of these labels in the gallery. Accompanying these texts we’re a small number of drawings I made from their personal photograph collection.
I was mindful of the text I chose and to me the multiplicity of texts represented their unique relationship to one another. By walking through the piece my intention is that the viewer gets glimpse in the Frow’s world.