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Kathryn Ryan

inducted 2010 The Arts

About Kathryn Ryan

Kathryn Ryan knew from an early age that she would follow art as a passion and a way of life. Discovering "Anatomy for the Artist,' with its beautiful drawings in the St Ann's College Library was an important early influence.

Enrolling in Art at TAFE, Kathryn enjoyed being surrounded by like-minded people. Later immersed in Art at what was then the Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education Kathryn said that she and her fellow students were free to explore their early ideas without being in close proximity to city galleries and the pressure to follow what was in fashion.

Leaving Art school and moving to Melbourne, Kathryn supported herself by working for a picture framing business and later managing an art supplies shop. Kathryn entered paintings in as many art prizes as she could and in time moved into a warehouse of art studios in Collingwood, meeting many other artists and beginning to exhibit her paintings.

Kathryn's break came when she was taken on by Metropolis Gallery in St Kilda, then Melbourne's Flinders Lane Gallery and the Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney.

With the success of several solo exhibitions Kathryn has been able to support herself as a fulltime artist since 2001.

Kathryn has regular exhibitions and works on a new solo exhibition each year, alternating between Melbourne and Sydney, but has also lived and worked in Abu Dhabi.
Kathryn Ryan has been short-listed for several major art awards including the Wynne Prize in 2000, 2004 and 2007; the Alice Prize in 1998, 1999 and 2001, and the Hutchins Art Prize in 1998, 1999 and 2001. In 1998 Ryan was awarded the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award and in 1990 the BP Acquisitive Prize. Ryan's works have been purchased by the curators and advisers for the Macquarie Group Collection, the Warrnambool Art Gallery Collection, Artbank and has been acquired by the Parliament House Collection.

Kathryn says that "The rural landscape of South West Victoria has been a source of inspiration for some years now." Her painterly interpretations of nature move beyond the merely representational. Of our local landscape she said, "It provides a starting point for me to explore the use of landscape as a metaphor, to convey more eternal and universal concerns such as desire for balance and harmony, serene contemplation and a connection to the spiritual."