Veronica Ryan works primarily in sculpture. Using a range of materials such as plaster, paper, dust, metal and feathers she explores the idea of containment and the container, probing the visual, psychological and poetic associations around what is hidden or revealed. Even her studio is viewed as a representation of a container, a sculptural environment in which daily accumulations, dust heaps and deposits become the preoccupations in the work. While her early work often involved pod- or seed-like sculptures, echoing the female form and reproductive organs, her recent work is more architectural. She often uses fabric – partly inspired by her mother, a gifted quilt-maker –to interrogate ideas of absence and presence.
Ryan was born in Plymouth, Montserrat in 1956 and divides her time between the UK and New York. She studied at St Albans, Bath Academy of Art, the Slade School of Art and the School for Oriental and African Studies in London.
She has exhibited widely, including solo shows for example at the ICA, London, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh PA and most recently at The Art House Wakefield in 2017/18. Her work has featured in numerous group shows such as the British Art Show at the Hayward Gallery (1990), and the Arts Council Collection’s touring show ‘Making It: Sculpture in Britain 1977–1986' in 2015 and represented in permanent collections of institutions such as Tate, the Arts Council The Hepworth Gallery. She was awarded a residency at Tate St Ives from 1998 to 2000, where she worked in Barbara Hepworth’s former studio.
This talk, supported by Falmouth School of Art, has been arranged in partnership with Porthmeor Studios to coincide with Ryan’s return to Cornwall for a three-month period as part of the Porthmeor Artists Residency Programme supported by The Porthmeor Fund, the John S Cohen Foundation and Trust artists’ contributions to the print series ‘Eleven’.
Image Credit: Veronica Ryan, Armour, Armature, courtesy of the artist