Christine Ryan is an artist, maker and lecturer based near Lancaster UK. Her creative practice explores the natural world and her connection with land and sea. She is interested in natural processes that reflect the passage of time and how these relate to memories and the transformation of materials. She is drawn to surfaces, layers, mark making, image making, tactility and materiality through textiles, drawing, print and mixed media.
I am interested in the effects of weathering, erosion and time, which turn the most robust of natural and manmade features into a fragile state of change, breaking down and building up layer upon layer.
I have previously and still have a fascination for rusted metal pieces that have been previously used, discarded and rejected. They carry with them the displacement of no longer fulfilling their original function but carry forward with them a character and presence in their new role. Driftwood also carries histories and has a sense of survival from the turbulent waters.
With my current practice, I am intrigued by the dynamics of the sea and how it manages to erode, transform, displace, conceal, reveal and migrate things through the ebb and flow of the tide and its currents. The tide is predictable in that each day it ebbs and flows driven by the sun and the moon, yet it is unpredictable in how it transforms and displaces things, leaving traces, memories and evidence.
I’ve always had a strong connection and fascination with the sea, growing up near the coast and with a family history involving the Merchant Navy and the fishing fleet. My own experience as a boat owner, Scuba diver and underwater photographer has reinforced this connection and this primeval draw of the sea. I am at my happiest when walking in a coastal landscape exposed to the elements.
I am interested in the idea that memories are held not only in our minds but also in the natural world around us, not always visible at first sight but existing there in the often fragile traces and marks.
Memories in our minds as well as in the outside world are often fragmented, themselves being eroded by time. The idea of fragility, layering and piecing together often appears in the work that I do, in the same way that we piece together details of memory.
I enjoy exploring and experimenting with different fabrics and papers, surface texture and layers through deconstruction and reconstruction, often incorporating fragmented text and image transfer.
My work has included waxing, stitching, natural dyeing and printing, with paint and text to create book forms and hanging installations.
Christine Ryan 2016