For her epic new installation created for Dilston Gallery’s vast concrete hall, London-based Irish contemporary artist Anne Ryan captures the sprawling dynamism of the city and its communities. Through her vibrant ceramic and cement sculptures, paintings and three-dimensional cutouts, Ryan's observations, speculations and dreams of the city collide. Anne Ryan, The City Rises opens at Dilston Gallery, Southwark Park Galleries, on 28 July and runs until 19 September.
Part of Ryan’s starting point for her work comes from the slow city walks she takes around London, which she describes as saunters (from the French sans terre, meaning ‘without land’), and says: “Walking allows the city to open up with possibilities - dreamscapes, fictional spaces, historical sites. A saunter is different from a commute or a journey with purpose, far more playful and open-ended.”
In her cutouts and sculptures, Ryan recreates fragments of the city assembled from these walks - the chance encounters and absurd juxtapositions create riotously amplified and interwoven daily narratives. Figures and characters such as dog walkers, boxers, musicians, and horses transport viewers into noisy scenes of London life. Stories and scenarios, imagined and remembered, are constructed via glimpses through backlit windows or encounters on deserted pathways. These saunters are also as much a journey through culture and the mental space an artist inhabits when making work - ‘a dream world while walking’ as Ryan calls it. These combine with situations observed in motion, becoming juxtaposed with the fleeting hustle, energy, debris and bodies which inhabits these streets.
The exhibition is generously supported by The Paul and Louise Cooke Endowment, Southwark Council and Arts Council England.
About Anne Ryan
Anne Ryan is a contemporary artist who creates figurative paintings and sculptures drawing on observations from everyday life. Charged with energy and attitude, her colourful works are always in motion - they dance, writhe, and mosh. Ryan loves music, the movies and mythologies, and these cultural references fuel her work. Born in Limerick, Ireland in 1964, Ryan lives and works in London. She studied at Limerick School of Art and Birmingham University and was Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School at Rome in 2016. Solo exhibitions include Earthly Delites, Hastings Contemporary, 2020, Euoī, Euoī, Euoī, Ribot Gallery, Milan, 2019, A Barbarian at the Gate, greengrassi, London, 2017 and The Cowboy Paintings, Turps Gallery, London, 2017. She will be exhibiting at Turner Contemporary, Margate, later in 2021. She is represented by greengrassi, London.