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Photography (MA)

Ruudu Ulas

Ruudu Ulas is a visual artist from Estonia, based in London. Ulas looks at the world through the lens of playful criticality - working in the field of expanded photography her work uses tools of installation, video and performance in an attempt to make sense of the everyday life. The objects are constricted within the space that they inhabit and despite the discomfort they find a way to sit still. Her images, videos and thoughts can appear next to each other in varying configurations – a photo is in a conservative frame but at other times a tight crop of the same work appears as a background to a performance or a video still spans an entire wall. She follows traces that cyborg-like humans accumulate, while being curious of the systems that have created this kind of creatures. Her investigations often take the shape of large-scale room installations.

Ulas holds a First Class BA(Hons) in Fine Art Photography from Glasgow School of Art where her work was awarded with Chairman's Medal, Alice Duncan Travel Prize and the Essay Prize. She studied under Joachim Brohm at HGB Leipzig and has now completed her MA Photography at Royal College of Art.

For me, visual art is a perverse branch of philosophical practice.

Making Something Out of Nothing is less of a project title and more of a theoretical framework for my practice. It is an inclusive slogan that functions as an umbrella term to keep other, smaller thoughts and images safely together. 

I seek balance, the in-between place where the extremities of chaos and order have a ratio that feels just right. The work feeds off the push and pull between physical reality and our emotional and intellectual needs. The body and mind seem to be out of place, out of time and out of sorts in a world where not much makes sense. I see my practice as a container, a holding place for any number of practices, where things can come together without having to fit into a rigid structure.

I work through materials and as the place of making has merged with the space of living the focus and scale of my work has shifted from infinity to up-close. Where I used to look at architecture and observe traces that we leave behind as we move through our lives, I now find myself in a position where I am a subject myself. In this space I am compelled to accept my own habits as a sufficient stimulus. Quite predictably, processes I had previously been interested in on a macroscale reveal themselves on the domestic scale just the same.

Curiosity and playfulness are important. That is not to say, that art needs to fulfil the function of a playground, but it can provide a space for thoughts to collide and cohabit. Art taking the form of an a-functional room, as described by Georges Perec in Species of Spaces

During a time when all geographical locations were equidistant, I discovered collaboration as a site for unexpected encounters. Sharing ideas, concerns, authorship and creative responsibility helped to combat the material and spatial limitations the pandemic year imposed.

Image credit: Jinhui Wang

The Pigeon - Loop

Pigeon - Loop (2021) is a vignette where 3 characters: an empty gallery space, a cleaner and a pigeon are interlocked in an absurd loop.

Under normal conditions this is a site specific work where the performance is filmed in the exhibition space and the CCTV like footage will be displayed alongside the bird in the gallery.


HD video loop


Difficult Objects I — C-Type print - 250x150cm Perspex Face Mounted C-Type Print - 125x90cm
Difficult Object II


C-Type print



Performed live on Zoom on Friday 02/07 at 6pm BST.

Please click here to register for the performance!

A digital séance, an experimental interactive lecture where the boundaries between the physical and virtual being are explored through magic.

Going forward, it will be impossible to fully refuse the efficiency of digital living. Still, the solitary displays provide no true replacement for the physical encounters with bodies in space. But we adapted swiftly and now we inhabit the futuristic bodiless space of technological wonder with ease. 

This séance will not conjure up any external entities but rather creates a shared experience of astonishment for each other.

The performance is followed by a discussion with artist and writer Chantal Faust, theorist Juliette Kristensen and Ruudu Ulas, Anna-Lena Krause, Kyungchan Jung, Eman Khokhar, Kirsty Sim, Veronica Viacava. We will talk about our experiences of making, sharing and learning online over the last year, with a focus on the notion of digital intimacy. We will share our attempts to connect, touch and locate each other through screens, and through their creative practices.

Please click here to register for the discussion.





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Material Resistance addresses the difficulty of creating a coherent narrative about the way things work in the world. It is an installation where overwhelmingly large organic shapes conceal small video screens. Videos depict a selection of repetitive actions where the performers attempt to gain control but fail at their endeavours. I remove the individual observations from their original context and place them into the chaotic environment that stands in as a proxy for reality. The project becomes a self-contained system, a lab of sorts where I invite the viewer to test out their own theories and thoughts about the way things operate. 

Video works in collaboration with Luis Carr.


laser jet prints, photo wallpaper, HD video



Tensions I-IV joins my ongoing fixation with recording the traces which we accumulate as we move through life with my desire to organise, catalogue and tidy the reality that I inhabit. The wish for clarity is bound to fail yet I hope to gather enough visual evidence that the images form their own centre of gravity for the ideas to conglomerate.


C-Type Print



Cultural Endowment of Estonia