Virginia Ryan, born in Victoria, is an Australian/Italian citizen transnationalartist , a graduatefrom the National Art School, CanberraandPost-Graduate in Art Therapy from Edinburgh,Scotland.
Since 1980, Ryan has worked internationally within the disciplines of painting, photography, sculpture and installation, solo and in collaboration with artists, anthropologists and musicians, collaborating with institutions such as New York University, and co-founding FCA Ghana (Foundation for Contemporary Art, Ghana). Now based primarilyin Italy , since 1981 she has lived and worked for extended periods with artists in Egypt, Brazil , Serbia , Scotland , Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Much of her personal artistic research in the years 2000~2010 has been concerned with identity, land and memory, resulting in large scale projects such as The Castaways Project and the photographic essay ‘Exposures- A White Woman in West Africa’ with reknown anthropologistSteven Feld. For Virginia Ryan, the experiential, the personal‘life lived’ is written into the ongoing fabric of her art practise.
Since 2008, she has shown in the Biennales of Malindi , Dakar and Venice and in 2016 was one of the invited Australian artists in the first Biennale Alto in the Dolomite region of Italy. Solo shows include the Whitworth Museum in Manchester, Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto and the Pino Pascali Foundation, Puglia in Italy, National Museum of Accra, Cecile Fakhoury in Abidjan and Montoro12 in Rome.
Ryan's work has often concerned displacement, migrations (also of objects) andthe importance of collective memory in creating identity. She is interested in the poetics of the everyday.
''........The strategy of Virginia Ryan who states the right to her own imagery, fleeing the logic of dual extremism: globalisation or tribalisation. while simultaneously she claims symbolic production against the commodification of the global economy. In this way she states the right to a transnational and multimedia crossing. Sheeludes any logic of belonging through a fundamental choice which tends to deny the value of space, habitat and the respective surrounding anthropology, in favour of a value of time condensed in the form of the work.....Virginia Ryan stoically and freely chooses the diaspora, that tragic historic fate suffered by many peoples in both East and West, In this sense the work acquires a Utopian value in the true sense of the word, the preference for a non-place, for a dematerialised elsewhere that does not require permanence or definitive occupation. Painting, sculpture, photography, design and architecture interweave in the production of installations that can stand in any space, but without the risk of being totally integrated.Virginia Ryan's work acts like a blender that creates interaction between the various forms of language and destabilises every traditional aesthetic category......'' (Achille Bonito Oliva )
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