Residency Unlimited

Ruth Jeyaveeran

Artist Name: Ruth Jeyavareen
Residency Dates: April – June 2024
Born: 1972
Hometown: Lusaka, Zambia
Lives & Works: New York, NY
2007 | Fashion Institute of Technology: Textile Design
1994 |The University of Michigan: BFA, Painting


Ruth Jeyavareen’s work is based on traditional material practices. Drawing from her experience as part of the South Asian diaspora, she uses textiles to examine a shared history of alienation and dissociation. In her felted soft sculptures and installations, the boundary between human, animal, and flora dissolves to tell a story of isolation, migration, and evolution. The forms evoke vessels, tools, toys, plants, ornaments and bones, hinting at objects that have been buried and forgotten, and are now rediscovered through the ritual of felting. Each piece functions as an intimate excavation as the fibers shift and resettle creating unexpected marks that rise to the surface.

The act of sewing, tying, and tangling fibers together, is an attempt to repair ruptured bonds between body, environment, and community. Wool is primal, spiritual, and bound to nature. Textiles, a source of warmth and shelter, offer a tactile antidote to our disenchantment with the modern world. Ruth collaborates with the material and the process allowing long-forgotten truths to emerge.

Ruth Jeyaveeran’s first solo show, Soft Remains, was exhibited at Field Projects in 2023. Other recent exhibitions include: Felt Experience at the Brattleboro Museum, Communion, a solo installation at Main Window Dumbo, and Amplify, a public sculpture at the Queens Botanical Garden. Jeyaveeran has exhibited at various venues in and around New York, including ABC No Rio, Westbeth Gallery, Ely Center of Contemporary Art, The Border Project, Paradice Palase, Bronx Art Space, The Yard, and the Art and Design Gallery at FIT.

She has been awarded residencies at Lighthouse Works, Marble House Project, Jentel Foundation, Willapa Bay, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and PADA Studios. Jeyaveeran has taught courses in textiles and fibers at Parsons School of Design, and she frequently leads workshops on felting and the therapeutic benefits of craft. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Textile Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.


The 2024 NYC-Based Artist Residency Program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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