Ruth Franklin


Whilst studying Printmaking, in 1998, on the MA Course at Camberwell College of Art, I began looking back on my childhood, and realised how familiar household artefacts helped me uncover childhood memories and family history. This journey of discovery was developed in my work, through photographic collages and 3d constructions.

My grandparents fled Poland and Russia in about 1915, to settle in the East End of London, where they set up a tailors workshop, to continue their trade. Reflecting on their lives, and family professions, brought up ideas about sewing and making. Remembering too, my Russian granny, that lived upstairs with us; the ‘sewing circles’ she regularly attended, and her much used sewing machine, has inspired me to make work in memory to them. I began to create paper patterns to use as templates, to form irons, sewing machines, scissors etc. These are sewn together using waxed coloured papers.

My fathers profession as a women’s hairdresser is reflected in my ‘hairdresser’ pieces. And with memories of dad’s tool shed, I have begun creating hairdressing ‘objects’, both real and imaginary, through amalgamating old workshop tools, hairdressers utensils, and paper forms.

Although constructing my sculptures largely out of paper, reflects my love of collage, and working in this medium, I am remembering, that although thought of as fragile and impermanent, paper can preserve family memories, and gave my grand-parents a life line, and safe passage out of Eastern Europe.

I began my working life as an Art Director in Advertising. Since then, my creative work has developed in many directions and mediums, often with graphic and drawn elements. Working in clay for several years, I created sculptural forms that expressed my own experiences and passions – my London life, travelling, and Arsenal, my supported football team. However, themes of family history, and ways of making, that begun on the MA Printmaking Course, have inspired me ever since.

Alongside my life of making, I have been teaching Art to adults for many years. Primarily at Camberwell College of Art, for 20 years, and for for many years at The City Lit, London.


1983 ‘Terres’- Centre George Pompidou, Paris France
1983 Blond Fine Art Gallery
Contemporary Ceramics – Victoria & Albert Museum, London Opening Show – Aspects Gallery, London, & Ring Show, touring Germany
1983 Contemporary Art Fair, Olympia, London
1986 ’68-86’ – Oxford Gallery, Oxford
‘Top Office – Sculptural commission for Michael Peters, Graphic Designer –
Business Design Centre, London
‘The Circus’ Sunderland Arts Centre – Touring Show
1989 ‘The Harrow Connection’ – The Crafts Council
1991 Handwerksmesse – Koblenz, Germany
1993 The Crafts Council Collection – The Victoria & Albert Museum
1994 The Summer Show – Contemporary Fine Art, London
1994 The Tricycle Gallery, London
1995 Galerie Vromans, Amsterdam, Holland
1997 ‘Hats off to Hackney’ – procession – commissioned hat, in V & A  Collection
1998 Postgraduate Printmaking, A Survey, Barbican, London
1999 Contemporary Print Show, Barbican Centre (Print Award)
2000 Royal West of England Academy, Print Exhibition, Bristol
2000  Printmaking Exhibition, Ropewalk, North Lincolnshire
2002 ‘Dangerous Corners’, Cork Street, London
2004  Rugby City Art Gallery – Commission and Show
2008 Barrett Marsden Gallery – City Lit Ceramics Diploma – 20 years Show
2011 Rochester Art Gallery – Group show –
2012 Tradition & Innovation – 5 Decades of Harrow Ceramics, Cont. Applied Arts
2014 & 2018 – ‘Zetter’ Hotel, London – 2 Person show
2015 Solo show – Ideas Store Whitechapel
2015 Townhouse, 5 Fournier Street E1
2016 Omnibus, London ‘Edward Lear’ show – invited by Art Critic Michael Glover
2016 ‘The Discerning Eye’ Mall Gallery – invited by Michael Glover, Art Critic
2017 Omnibus, London – 2 person show – Ruth Franklin & Ruth Dupre
2017    Arthouse 1 – ‘Something Borrowed’ exhibition
2019 The Pie Factory, Margate – ‘Colour Space’ – invited artist
2019 House-Mill, Bromley by Bow ‘Unearthed’
2020 155A Gallery – Group Show

2022 Re-Imagining tools – M2 Gallery, Peckham – 2 person Show – Ruth Franklin & Robert Cooper
2022 ASC Gallery, London, SE17 – m2Gallery Artists: RECENT WORK 2
2022 Traces, 155a Gallery, London
2023 Arts Residency and Exhibition with Jennie Pedley – ‘Le Petit Musee’ at Chateau Sacy le Petit, Northern France

Solo shows

1982 Harvest Too Gallery, London
1986 Sunderland Arts Centre, Sunderland
1986 Cleveland Museum
1987 Edinburgh Art Gallery
2015 Ideas Store Whitechapel, London
2022 Traces, 155a Gallery, London

Public collections

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Contemporary Ceramics & 20c Hat Collection
Paisley Museum, Scotland
Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland
The Crafts Council, London
Bedfordshire Education Authority, England


1978–84 Lecturer on BA Courses at: Camberwell, Harrow, Farnham, Croydon,  Loughborough, Medway, Guildhall & Epsom Colleges of Art
2003 Kent Institute of Art & Design, BA Illustration
Central St Martins College of Art – MA Printmaking
1982–02 Foundation Course – Camberwell College of Art
1985-94  BA Ceramics – Camberwell College of Art
2002 – present  The City Lit. Tutor Co-ordinator (2005 – 2014)


1966 – 7 Foundation Course – Hornsey College of Art
1972 – 3 Croydon College of Art – Ceramic Degree – transferred to:
1973 – 5 Harrow College of Art – Ceramics Diploma
1996 – 8 MA Printmaking – Camberwell College of Art