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Spotlight: Collagist | Ruth Saporito

Pandora, 2021

Introducing Ruth Saporito, Toronto Collagist


/DRI:M/SPACE is pleased to spotlight Ruth Saporito aka inbetweenrinks. Ruth was awarded a Spotlight feature for the International Women's Day open call "Don't Run from the Fire" for her collage "Way(s) To Go".

Ruth's submission underscores how we can never be complacent. It is essential that we continue to push for equality!

Ruth writes, "Well look at those hands! It must be a victorious moment for them. Ironically, the back image is actually a photograph taken after a famous boxing match. The male fans seen in the background are raising their hands cheering and celebrating the victor of the fight. Juxtaposing these images conveys a bold reminder to my sisters and I, that we not only raise our hands in celebration of past triumphs, but also in a call to action for all the work that still lies ahead. Let’s face it, even with all the accolades we so wholeheartedly bestow upon our fore-sisters, we still have ways to go in the fight for gender equality."

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Top Panel - Mask, 2020 / Colab with @cutandrepeat_, 2021 / Seeing Red, 2019

Bottom Panel - New Skin, 2020 / Fade To White, 2019 / Colab with @cutandrepeat_, 2021

*Colabs hosted by @friendswithglue

Saporito is a Toronto based artist working in Collage and Mixed Media. She enjoys using collage to explore the infinite ways of repurposing paper and imagery to compose a completely new narrative. For her, the idea that you can transmit a different message by the rearrangement of pieces is incredibly powerful and creatively compelling.

From the Collagist:

I was surrounded by the arts growing up. I would spend hours in my father’s studio as the quiet observer while he painted. Expressing myself creatively came naturally to me from a young age and manifests itself in many ways. As creatives I feel we need to explore, learn, teach, grow and evolve and not allow ourselves to be boxed in a static existence, definition or medium. I love collage for the hunt and gather, the sustainability, the cut, tear and the endless ways to manipulate, edit and add layers. I paint, as well, and interchange these mediums often.

Polaroid of Ruth in her Father's Studio, Circa 1978 / Process Shot / Self-Portrait

Ruth puts her words to action. She is clearly an artist that doesn't confine herself to one style and approaches the medium with an experimental touch. While there is a playful element to a many of her works, her monochrome pieces take on a more pensive tone, laced with mystery.

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Top Panel - Touch, 2020 / Written, Never Spoken, 2021 / Renewal, 2019

Bottom Panel - The Letter, 2020 / Disco, 2021 / El Secreto, 2020

For her collage "Close", the caption reads, Come close... and close the door. I love this piece for its witty word play of close, which is a homograph. And, the narrative thread of this work brings to mind a mash-up of Film noir with Hitchcockinan vibes. It's compelling!

Ruth writes, "This was a piece I made for februllage organized by the fab duo Rhed Fawell and Miss Printed. I was playing around with perspective and a suggestive narrative based on the prompt. I tend to use a monochrome palette when suggesting mystery and seduction. Someone commented about the composition looking like little vignettes and I loved that description for this tale—a seemingly secret rendezvous. The viewer can take it from there."

Close, 2021

Her mixed-media collages, which are just another example of the collagist refusing to be pin downed by one way of doing things, seem effortless in their creation. She incorporates various materials, repurposing and reusing what is at hand in her creations.

I really dig Ruth's multi-layered collage, "Free of Fog". The colour palette, which consists of a bright sepia combined with pops of lime green and pink, is truly a standout. It's such an energetic collage and her clever title infuses the piece with so much more depth.

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Moon Walk, 2019 / Free Of Fog, 2021 / Safe As Houses, 2020

Ruth is fairly new to Instagram, having joined the platform in 2019. But in that short time she has become quite popular in the collage community. Ruth's work has been published internationally in the UK, New York, Finland, and Estonia. She was a contributor to Canada’s KOLAJ magazine Special World Collage Day 2020 Edition, and most recently one of her collages was featured by The Canadian Women's Organization for the Signal For Help Campaign. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S.A, Scotland, Spain and at various venues throughout Toronto, Canada.

Suffice it to say, Ruth is here to stay! Be sure to check out her links below to learn more about the artist and her eclectic collages.

Nest, 2020


Q&A with the Artist:

/DRI:M/ARTZ: Collagists tend to use similar language when talking about the medium, and that almost always revolves around the process itself. And this thought—how we all seem to be aligned and creating from the same place (subconscious, at the whim of our materials at hand)—got me wondering about how to talk about this elusive medium in terms of my own work. How can I move beyond the obvious process related talk and put words to what it is that I am bringing to the medium with the materials I use?

Ruth Saporito: It's interesting. I have been asked about hosting a workshop and wondered how I would approach it. For me so much is based on what source material is available and a mood, theme or energy. Unlike sketching, or painting an object directly in front of you, collage is a search and gather process enabled by a mood or reflection, a deep observation. Collage builds a sanctuary for our thoughts, desires and emotions to live. You can show or hide as much as you wish. It is directly linked to our state of mind, our innermost thoughts and secrets. It is not so representational. Intention involves more planning and learning of a specific technique, or skill. So while you can attain a demo of the techniques, the final result is a personal quest or statement.

DA: You approach collage using a variety of different styles. Instagram is a highly curated venue—it's refreshing to feast your eyes on a feed that mixes it up a bit. What are your thoughts on this? Do you ever feel like starting over from scratch?

RS: A curated page looks really professional and put together, there is value in that for some artists and brands. I joined Instagram quite late in the game, so for now I use it more as my journal or photobook of my work and a way to connect with more artists.

DA: What can your fans look forward to this year and beyond?

RS: Haha. These days I am taking things maybe a week at a time. There are always new opportunities popping up, so anyone who digs my style can stay tuned on Instagram or my website for updates.


Check out Ruth's tune recommendation "Don't Run from the Fire" performed by one of my favorite electronic dark-wave bands, Minuet Machine. I named the open call after this song, enjoy!

Website | Ruth Saporito

Instagram | inbetweenrinks


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