‘Like Gods’ an exhibition by Ruth Beale at Swiss Cottage Gallery
Visit the Swiss Cottage Gallery to view an exhibition by artist Ruth Beale. Celebrating the books, relationships, collecting, and libraries, LIKE GODS includes installation, paintings and video created in collaboration with Ruth’s father, David Beale. The exhibition is inspired by David's lifelong love of science fiction and the act of rescuing and keeping books, as well as the iconic Swiss Cottage Library itself.
For the duration of the exhibition, the entire science fiction section of Swiss Cottage Library has been relocated to eight letter-shaped bookcases in the gallery. Spelling LIKE GODS, the letters are a tribute to the creators of other worlds and futures. The title is an ambiguation of Men Like Gods, an early scientific fantasy novel by HG Wells set in a parallel utopian universe.
The exhibition also includes paintings inspired by spaceship illustrations, and a new video work featuring David exploring the basement stacks of sci-fi titles at the Swiss Cottage Library. The video highlights David’s passion of collecting books and how he accumulated nearly 2000 sci-fi books over 60 years.
Together, the works in the exhibition walk a fine line between celebrating and questioning the literary canon of science fiction, while constantly returning to the materiality of books.