Lutradur & Zeelon Capes – ‘Cloaked in Darkness’ – by Ruth Lee

Ruth Lee (born Coventry, UK) is a textile artist, print-maker and visual story teller, currently living in Central Portugal, having relocated from Cumbria in April 2013.

She made these dramatic cloaks for a recent exhibition entitled ‘Roses in January?’ after being inspired by The Legend of the Miracle of the Roses.

Wall hung display representing five capes with hoods. Some of the hoods are projecting outwards, while others are laid flat. The capes are made up of layers of black and white material and feature some areas of decorative printed design.
Cloaked in Darkness by Ruth Lee

The story goes that Rainha Santa Isabel left her castle deep in the winter to distribute bread, concealed in her cloak, to the poor. Challenged by the King (who did not approve of her charitable work), she declared she was carrying only roses. Suspicious, the King exclaimed “Roses? In January?” Upon opening her cloak, roses were revealed.

Ruth explains she drew her inspiration for these stark, flattened, mysterious shapes from the traditional heavy capes and incredible oversized hoods worn by women from the Azores.

The cloaks are cut and constructed from a combination of Lutradur, Lutradur Black and Zeelon in various weights and degrees of opacity.

Five black and white capes hanging on a wall. They each feature a rectangular area of printed design and large curved hoods.
Cloaked in Darkness by Ruth Lee

The installation comprises of five individual pieces, each one made from two elements which can be displayed in different groupings. Total length 120/180 cms, width at the widest part 60 cms, narrowing to approximately 45 cms, extending outwards from the wall about 40/45 cms.

This close up photographs shows some of the printed design area and also the layering of several pieces of material.
Close up showing some of the printed detail

The construction techniques include layering, surface manipulation and stitch to create relief surfaces. Hand printed patterns from woodblocks (hand-cut by the artist) were also applied using a screw top book press.


by Ruth Morgan | January 15, 2021 | Posted in Lutradur, Zeelon