barbara ryman image of object

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Artist Statement


Fragmenting mind, fragmenting world, fragmenting society, fragments of memory, disintegration, integration and nostalgia. Can what is broken be mended? Can it be transformed?

These are the somewhat disordered thoughts running behind the production of this series of pendants; how apt! They arise from seeing my Mother struggling with dementia, watching the current politics, global warming dramas and my own longing for a simpler past and future.

I’m finding the world pretty challenging right now. The din of self-satisfied and strident voices, filled with venom, hatred and conviction, makes this creative soul despair.  Its sends me off in search of silence, space, horizons, sensations; little truths that rise above the cacophony.

My series of pendants developed from overlaying an image of dried mud patterns of a desiccated waterhole over a shallow bowl. The bowl was then dissected and each piece became a fragment on which to work. When I studied at art school, before following a path into enamelling and jewellery, I loved drawing with pencil on paper. My creative life seems to have an underground river that connects my past and present. Themes and images return and present themselves in new forms for re-examination through my current understanding, perception and knowledge. There is a comforting continuum. Bringing the drawing technique to my jewellery and the larger scale of the vessel has been both challenging and immensely enjoyable.




Barbara Ryman







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