Ruth Stirling trained as a painter at Edinburgh College of Art. From 1985-6 she worked at the Marine Biological Station on the Isle of Cumbrae and later at the Gatty Marine Laboratory at St Andrews. The resulting installation, Passages, constituted a remarkable exploration of methods of photographic analysis used by scientists. More recently she has been commissioned to produce an artists' book in English and Braille for the National Health Service, and a documentary essay for London City Airport. In 1988 the Canadian Science Council invited Stirling to spend six months researching an Inuit community on Igloolik in the Canadian Arctic.