Collection

Ruby's room No.12
Anne Noble

2000

Anne Noble
b.
1954
Title:
Ruby's room No.12
Production date:
2000
Accession No:
2001/4/3
Measurements:
1200 x 1800mm
Media:
Inkjet prints, pigment on vinyl

Collection Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth

Anne Noble’s work is often characterised by its tactile intimacy. The photographic series Ruby’s Room is perhaps her most exuberantly physical. Printed large-scale on vinyl, with its supple sheen and plasticity, the images are a boisterous celebration of tactility. Each of the 45 photographs in the series shows the mouth of the photographer’s daughter in high definition close-up. We can see the texture of her skin, the gloss of saliva on her lips. This challenging visceral intimacy is offset by the playful nature of the photographs. Ruby pokes out her tongue to show the lurid pink lollies dissolving on it, wears a bubble-bath beard or a milk moustache, pulls a fish face.

Produced over eight years, Ruby’s Room was a true collaboration between Noble and her daughter. The photographs were not staged, but were captured as Ruby played and performed in the course of daily life. Each image has a sense of immediacy as it documents a fleeting moment of sensory play or pleasure. They all are coloured by a child’s inventiveness and a childlike hilarity in stepping over the boundaries of adult propriety with tongue-poking, bubble-blowing abandon.