Mixed media. 1991.
31 x 29 cm (approx. 11.4 x 12.2 inches)
After beginning a career as an exhibition designer Barbara Ryan returned to Fine Art practice and graduated with a first class honours from West Surrey College of Art and Design whilst simultaneously receiving the Kaye Pemberton Award for Fine Art in 1991. In 1992 she moved to Berlin where she lived and worked for two years, inspired by the faded beauty of the former East Germany she exhibited mainly in Mitte, then the newly emerging area for the cutting edge Berlin art scene of the early nineties.
Ryan’s works have always combined an eclectic mix of mediums and processes and since 1994 she has worked predominantly but not exclusively as an installation artist. Despite eschewing ‘the dictates of any art- fashion’ and refusing to repeat any one style for any length of time Barbara Ryan’s work shows a remarkable flexibility and mastery of her chosen subject at any given moment – prompting Keith Tyson to declare in 2001 ‘but you are the real human “Art Machine”.
In 2002 Ryan’s particular modus-operandi influenced Martin Clark – curator of Tate St.Ives – to re-create Ryan’s “Candyland Zoo” at the Herbert Read Gallery ( Canterbury, 2004) , inviting her to act as curatorial advisor and exhibit her works as catalyst and uniting factor along side Jeff Koons, Jeremy Deller and Fischli and Weiss, amongst others. A guiding yet subtle influence on contemporary practice Ryan has often rejected the limelight in favour of a rigorous commitment to her individual vision. The work on display at Fleet Gallery provides an opportunity to explore her earlier works and experimentation with the juxtaposition and dialogue between seemingly disparate mediums and techniques.