Ruth MacLaurin

MFA, WSU 1994. Honours Diploma, Alberta College of Art 1974. BA (geography), Concordia 1966.


  • The Celtic-Nevada Passageway

    November 17–December 10, 1995

    The exhibition recreates the Celtic cemetery of Austin, Nevada, by juxtaposing delineation of the cemetery plots (filled with natural debris from trees, which figure so prominently in Celtic lore and myth) with the shadows of markers that MacLaurin recorded at the cemetery.

    The installation is a powerful metaphor of memorial. The pathway between the two rows of graves through which the viewer is invited to walk, is the passage from life to death. A path down which, according to Celtic mythology, the soul is carried by Celtic hounds.

    An art professor at Okanagan University College in British Columbia, Canada, MacLaurin visited Austin while working on her masters at Washington State University.

    “The town’s cemetery was crowded with the imported Celtic cross, marking both the passage of a people and a culture, as well as the transplanted memory of that culture,” MacLaurin explains. She adds that she was drawn to the “sense of exile that was felt among these gravestones…the self-exile of the immigrant or displaced person, like the pilgrim of old.”

Talks & Events

  • Artist Talk

    November 22, 1995

    In conjunction with MacLaurin’s “Celtic-Nevada Passageway” show at Artspeak gallery