Abraham Anghik Ruben incorporates his ancestry and interests into the sculptural expression of his art. Ruben seeks to convey the stories of his ancestors who have gone before him. By exploring the cultural pasts of different ethnic and racial groups, he creates an interesting interpretation of bygone eras of humanity. It is this diversity that sets Ruben’s works apart from other artists exploring their heritage through the use of soapstone sculptures. Ruben brings the viewer into his past and the past of his people through his personal, yet cultural, works.
Soapstone sculptural art is created by several artists throughout Canada. Ruben sets his work apart by exploring his personal heritage as well as the heritage of other travelers and cultures, as opposed to some of the other artists who choose to only portray their local community’s history. Ruben complements these individual stories by varying the style of art and materials he uses in his work. The stories that Ruben tries to capture are brought to life through the use of pictographic art, soapstone, and the use of bronze. These variances seem to make a physical analogy to the differences of the people featured in the stories that he is sharing with the viewer.
Ruben’s exhibit at The Rockwell Museum focuses on “The World of Man, Animals and Spirits.” His pieces will have you not only contemplating what is in front of you but also what came before you. The series will travels through time and focuses on the human journey through migration to a new home and the forced journey of displacement. Ruben seems compelled to give voice to those who were voiceless and who were not able to have their stories told in their time here. These voices from the past will not only intrigue, but also engage the viewer in the physical representation of the journey that all of humanity has made at one time or another. Be sure to make it to the exhibit before it continues its journey to engage and enlighten a new set of viewers.