How does an artist wrest order from the exhilarating chaos of the natural world around them? Dupré uses a range of materials - glass, ceramic, bronze, paint, wood, fabric, rubber and cement, along with drawing, printing and film. She makes references to organic forms, and establishes deft connections between organs, body parts and forms found in nature. She then tangles them in her web.
So where does Dupré find inspiration? She normally alludes to dance when asked this question. In this present show, though, she also shows her interest in forces that are outside ourselves; and of those forces, Nature is the most evident, in all her manipulative guises. She allures, attracts and repels, inviting us to indulge and desire, but at our own risk (think, for example, of how a moth will circle a light bulb until it is frazzled to death by it).
She wants us to respond to the work as something alive, and yet the individual sculptures and drawings are so obviously inanimate and cold. But is it not also true that in 1953 Crick and Watson showed us that living material is not fundamentally distinct from non- living material so there is not quite such a distance as we might imagine?
What does seem certain is that there is more than a hint of sexual promise hidden behind the pose of Saint Sebastian. And it is all the more interesting for being understated. Nature is the same: she hides her blushes behind all that beauty. How erotic is the posturing of a flower? Where the bee sucks…
Dupré understands all this. She makes rubber flowers which have a visceral or primal pull.
They inhabit the privacy of the boudoir, as well as the sombre public space of the graveside or the mausoleum.
Multi-media artist Ruth Dupre has won the Bombay Sapphire Award for glass and the Royal Academy's Jack Goldhill Prize for sculpture
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