Leonie Ryan

Leonie Ryan is an emerging Australian contemporary artist, from Nilma Victoria who works in 3D installations. Leonie has been making art for 9 years and  more details can be found on her website.

Lateral Rhythms, Time Follies, past, present and future, 2005.

Leonie, do you have an Artist’s statement?
Through Installation art I explore distort, amplify fantasize and create a visual language for an audience eager to ignite imagination. My future direction is to extend my knowledge in the arts, ongoing practice, perfecting, discovering, inquiring and exhibiting, searching not for truth but for an array of options of what if, how, why, where, when and who.

Interests you have other than art you feel are important to mention?
I am interested in people their perspectives and points of view. I love to travel anywhere and everywhere. Travel stimulates my conscious, subconscious and my soul. I’m also interested in science geography and alternative processes.

How do you describe your work?
Stylised abstract and symbolic. I work on a metaphysical level.

What are you currently working on?
My latest exhibition is titled ‘Aeracura’ which means blossoming. The body of work is 2 & 3D.

I am also completing a body of work tilled ‘Planetary Expedition 43’, a digital photographic journey into fanciful and abstract space.

Aeracura,08       Astral face blue,08      Space enigma,08    Vortex black & white,08

What fascinates you? Living on Earth, the magic and mysteries, which surround us.

Why are you an artist?
We are all artists; it’s just that some of us choose not to practice.

How important is art for you?
Art is an incredible energy force that is embedded in my fibres, my mind and my soul. Art is a essential part of my life.

Your art education was…?
I have a diploma in visual arts and media and working towards Masters in visual art and design.

What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
As a child and in my teen years I always played around with art. In my twenties I managed my own cafe, got married had three lovely baby boys. In my early thirties I studied and practised performing art, also photography. I commenced my practice as a visual artist nearly 10 years ago.

Dynamism, 05                                       Mamma Natura, 06               Lateral Rhythms, Old man time, 06

What is your earliest memory of art?
My very first day at kindergarten; I arrived kicking and screaming, I really didn’t want to be there. The teacher showed me an easel with paper and red paint and suggested I give it a try; I settled into the kindergarten scene straight away.

Was art a “thing” that was encouraged in your family? Definitely, my mother is an artist; when I was very young I remember her painting with pallet knife and using oil paints. I enjoyed the smell of oil paint and linseed oil. My mother always designed an assortment of works of art, utilizing various mediums throughout our home. Mum now writes.

What or who inspires your art?
Life, Earth, science, lots of weird stuff, people, many artists in many genres and me.

What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?
I’m an installation artist I work with anything and everything.

You know you are successful in Visual Arts when…
I think you can define success when you have a go at achieving your goals, when you reflect on your achievements, acknowledge your current existence, dream and set goals for your future. When you tell yourself you are successful and you believe wholeheartedly and unconditionally you are, then you are a success. I believe the only way to measure success is on an individual level.

Creative streaks do they come in waves for you?
I am an idea’s girl. My creativity runs at a constant level. My strength is innovation and creative concepts.

Flower of the West, (small), 06        Earth science & linguist fusion, Dynamism disc, 07

Do you get to other artists exhibitions, openings etc?
As often as I can, especially the artists who I admire for various reasons. I also take pleasure in attending and supporting all my artist friends’ exhibitions along with visiting State, National and International galleries.

What can you tell us about your connection to your subject matter, way of working, concepts etc?
It’s diverse, because I am interested in so many things and choose to explore various ideas. There are many levels to my relationship with my subject matter, it’s much like the various levels in relationships I have with people. My concepts grow and develop over time, from an idea into a sketch into a design, then physically in the studio. I enjoy the process of the concept merging and developing, it gives me the same sensation of watching sea monkeys grow, or the illusion of magic, or even as simple as a cake rising as it bakes in the oven. I think it’s the unknown and mystery of what will happen, the unfolding of events and end result.

All artists seem to have struggles, tell us about any you have had.
I struggle with humility in various ways; I would like very much to develop this admirable and beautiful quality.  My struggles all relate to my own development as a person. I cannot disconnect myself from my art; therefore any struggles I experience in life are connected to my art. I challenge myself to utilize past, present, and future problems as learning references and resources, which can be a struggle sometimes too.

Do you keep an Art Journal or Visual Diary of some kind? Absolutely, my visual journal is an invaluable resource and reference. I enjoy revisiting old concepts and reflect on my development.

Any musical influences?
No surprises here, I enjoy a wide genre of music. In my studio I have a record player  I enjoy listening to old records, harp music, Sonny & Cher, classic, jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, alternative music, sounds from space, whale songs, Brian Ferry there really is a vast mix amongst my collection.

What sort of depth or meaning is there behind the work you do?
My art has many layers. I am happy for any viewer to reach their own perspective and view point, in fact its cool hearing other alternatives. I utilize symbols a lot, I believe we live in a fast world; symbols are a fast way to communicate complex messages.

How important is it to you that your work communicates something to the viewer?
I love it when a viewer gets what I’m aiming to communicate, however if the viewer doesn’t get the concept and instead they are stimulated one way or another, I’m pleased. I enjoy explaining my concepts especially through artist presentations, responses are often quite surprising.

Art is about entertainment, experiment, inventiveness or shock for you?
Art is about any one or all of the above for me both as the viewer and as the artist.

Self Portrait, 08             the flamboyant Mr. Peter Biram, 08

You have been working as an artist for a while, how do you feel about earlier works that are in people’s collections / ownership?
Earlier works are a representation of where I was in a period of time. Naturally we believe we advance in skill, knowledge, concepts and technique over time, in alignment with progression. We can never truly deny our past; our past is what gets us to where we are today. Earlier work and collections are a crucial element whether I feel good or bad about the work; it must be accounted for, and measured as importantly as current works. If I do my absolute best in a work of art no matter when in time, I know I will be happy in years to come.

Do the seasons affect your work or work habits?
I work all year round and have a good size studio, although I do find Autumn and Spring ideal. I don’t have to think about heating or cooling and epoxy resins set best during the more moderate climate.

Do you have a connectedness to other art forms?
I connect to nearly all art. I appreciate someone who put’s energy into something creative with purpose or meaning, whether it be a stick figure on a black board or a magnificent marble statue.

What is more important to you in your work, content or technique, concept or product?
I think all of these elements are very important. I strive to apply all and to deliver conceptually interesting and quality works of art.

How important is society, culture and or history to your work?
Society, culture and history are all relevant in my installations, though they are more a subconscious element to me rather than intentional or planed.

How do you think art can change people or their perceptions?
Art opens up realms’ of ideas that other people may not have considered. Art can bridge mighty gaps and connect anyone from commonplace to Royalty.

Centipede, 07

When you create your work is it somehow an emotional relief as you do it or at the end?
The emotional connection begins at the beginning and never ends.

What is your working routine? Do you listen to music while you work, or stay up late for instance?
I always make lists, time lines, schedules for the production of my art. I find I achieve far more when I create lists, I am very ambitious and dedicated. I prefer to begin working in my studio in the morning and rarely stay up late; my head gets very fuzzy towards the later hours of day.  I usually work form 9.am until 5.pm because I have teenage boys and I like to be around when they get home from school. I also work between 2-5 hours a day on weekends. I often play music in the studio, I feel music resinates into the art pieces giving it rhythm.

What do you think sets you apart from other artists in your approach to work etc…
This is a wonderful question it delves deep into uncomfortable regions of the psyche. If the question is intended to my approach and end result, I think from what I’ve experience, many people aren’t sure what to make of my art, there is little reference or comparisons with my art with other art. This suggests my work is not average or predictable; I’m yet to discover what it does mean. Internally my resource is foreign even to myself, though I completely trust my internal source, it comes from somewhere beyond. I believe each and every artist has a unique approach to their own work meaning we are all distinctively set apart.

Earth science and linguistic fusion, 07.  Latrobe regional gallery.

One word or statement to describe your current works?

What can you say about your work that might not be evident to the viewer?
Keep metaphysical in mind.

The business or marketing side of Art can be a challenge to some, what are your thoughts?
I strongly recommend a book titled, How To survive & prosper as an Artist, selling yourself without selling your soul, by Caroll Michels. This book is an invaluable tool with fantastic information for anyone who is practicing as a professional artist.

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2011+

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20 Responses to “Leonie Ryan”

  1. Leonie Ryan : ArtStuff on November 20th, 2008 8:18 am

    […] Leonie Ryan […]

  2. Stefan Maguran on November 20th, 2008 8:34 am

    Fresh, witty – very interesting and versatile – I enjoyed this interview very, very much.

    Too many cheeky things to mention – just one: emerging artist after 10 years – love it!

  3. malcolm Williams on November 20th, 2008 10:34 am

    Thanks Leonie. The work you do is always stimulating and original in concept and feeling. You are an inspiration to us all. Malcolm W

  4. peter biram on November 20th, 2008 11:08 am

    Hi leonie,

    you have come such a long way


  5. Leonie Ryan on November 20th, 2008 11:37 am

    Hi Stefan,
    Thanks for your kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. I am curious to what you mean by too many cheeky things to mention,could you please elaborate? Not that I mind the comment it’s pretty cool I’m just curious.
    Leonie Ryan

  6. Leonie Ryan on November 20th, 2008 11:39 am

    Hi Peter,
    Thanks for taking time to read my interview. I’m glad you think I am moving forward – towards the unknown.


  7. Eamon on November 20th, 2008 11:46 am

    Yeah you have come such a long way. I don’t know where you left from or where you are going to but the journey looks like it’s worth it. ha ha. It’s great, very metaphysical somehow, the stuff in the gallery (lots of white background) looks fantastic, are they glass or resin?

  8. Ursula Theinert on November 20th, 2008 4:04 pm

    This is a very informative and interesting interview. You certainly are a profound thinker and your metaphysical work resonates and intrigues the viewer. Your vibrant colours give a great deal of power to your work. I particularly enjoyed your portrait of Peter Biram, you have captured his cheeky side beautifully. Your work is stimulating and innovative. Congratulations!!!
    Lots of Love Ursula

  9. Kerrie Warren on November 20th, 2008 5:48 pm

    I just love the interview and taking the journey into your world…. I also love ‘Centipede’ 07! I don’t think I’ve seen this piece…. has it been exhibited? What size is it??
    Love Kerrie xxx

  10. Leonie Ryan on November 21st, 2008 6:47 am

    Hi Malcom, it is wonderful to hear your words of encouragement and praise. I’m pleased you got to read my interview. Have a happy day!!

  11. Leonie Ryan on November 21st, 2008 6:49 am

    Hi Eamon, Thanks for taking the time to read my interview and responding. Most of the art that looks like glass is perspex and epoxy resin. warm regards Leonie Ryan

  12. Leonie Ryan on November 21st, 2008 6:54 am

    Dear Ursula, you are an incredibly generous woman thank you for your enthusiasm, support and very kind words. I think the flamboyant Mr.Peter Biram is very checky too. Warm regards, Leonie.

  13. Leonie Ryan on November 21st, 2008 6:58 am

    Hi there Ms. Kerrie, Glad you read my interview and took a little journey into my world.Centipede hasn’t been exhibited before,it is a photograph and can be as large as 100 X 150 cm. Centipede will venture out one day when the time is right.
    All the very best to you my dear famous artist friend with warm regards, Leonie.

  14. karenwt on November 24th, 2008 2:35 pm

    I love the way you make us all think just a bit differently about the world through your artwork…great interview that is very “you”. Congratulations and onward to even greater things. You go girl!!!
    All the best Karen

  15. Leonie Ryan on November 27th, 2008 9:05 am

    Thank you very much Karen for all your lovely comments. I’m so pleased you had a chance to read my interview. There is only one way to go baby & thats up!!!

  16. Lisa McNamara on May 5th, 2009 1:02 am

    Hi Leonie,

    Just found this site after looking at stuff about the current Creative Gippsland Festival. I still like to take an interest in what’s happening down south. The portrait of Peter made me giggle. Perfectly captured. Have been very involved painting scenery and props for the ballet school since coming to Emerald. Also curating exhibitions for the new gallery, which I love doing. Try to get to Brisbane to check out “big” art.

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Ryan lights her own fire… : Art Re-Source on January 17th, 2010 8:50 am

    […] Leonie Ryan is a Victorian Artist with a passion for getting things done. Possibly her biggest project to date is the Fields of View traveling exhibition, coordinating five Visual Artists to explore a range of environmental issues and tie in with the environmental expressionism theme. […]

  18. Exhibition - Leonie Ryan - Australian Made | Art Re-Source on September 12th, 2011 8:26 pm

    […] Be sure and check out Leonies interview right here. […]

  19. Kerrie Warren on September 14th, 2011 9:45 am

    Congratulations Leonie, your beautiful and inquisitive soul truly shines through your work, it is so creatively inspiring and each a powerful experience…I’m really looking forward to the exhibition! Love Kerrie xxx

  20. Hector Marquez on July 16th, 2012 4:08 pm

    Hello Leonie,

    Love your metaphysical input on your work. I specifically like the astral face, you seem to know. Keep it up.


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