St. Marys Station Gallery presents “Sculpted Tarot” The Art of Heather Ruthig


  • Music & Arts   Wednesday, November 3, 2021   Cameron Porteous, Curator



By Cameron Porteous, Curator
Heather Ruthig is a well known St. Marys artist who has worked at the Stratford Festival as a Theatre Prop Builder for the past 25 years. As such, for the Festival she has created many things including masks, various sculptures and furnishings. Heather states that designing a Tarot Card deck has been an idea percolating for many years.
The Tarot is a pack of cards dating back to the early 14th century in Europe. These decks of cards were mainly used as playing cards. Over time very few decks have survived. Before the invention of the printing press, tarot decks were all hand painted and commissioned by various patrons. The earliest evidence of a tarot deck used for card reading comes from an anonymous manuscript from around 1750. The use of the tarot deck for occult purposes is documented around 1789 and had themes related to ancient Egypt.
Heather is fascinated by the history of flowers and plants and the historical meaning that people have given them. Signatures and the Victorian language of flowers along with magical meanings of plants have all inspired the symbolism used within the Tarot Deck she has created. From this passion for gardening, Heather enjoys creating her own sculptural art and jewelry inspired by nature, gardening and the stories surrounding them. She also loves experimenting with new materials and pushing the limits of the old. Some of Heather's theatre creations on exhibit in the Station Gallery's exhibition “Fabulous Fakes” 2019 are properties from the Stratford Festival as well as the Festival archives. Ceramics as a medium is new to Heather but it is evidently a natural evolution to her work. The materials used with ceramics in the past were too toxic for her to be comfortable using them. Current ceramic materials allow her to do her artwork in a safer environment. Heather states “It has been an amazing fun journey learning how to use clay and figuring out how to incorporate it into my practice.”
“Sculpted Tarot” by Heather Ruthig opens at the St, Marys Station Gallery on November 5th and runs through to Friday, December 31, 2021.
Heather will be at the Station Gallery for a “Meet and Greet” on Saturday November 6 and November 13 from 1pm to 4pm.