VIRGINIA RYAN

FINE ARTIST

THE STORY

Virginia Ryan has led the life of an artist who experiences the world through art:

She spent part of her early life in Italy and moved with her diplomatic husband to Egypt. Brazil, Ex-Yugoslavia during the war, Scotland, back to Italy and then, for fifteen intermittent years, to Ghana and Ivory Coast. Virginia  has worked internationally within the disciplines of painting, photography, sculpture and installation, alone or in collaboration with artists, anthropologists and musicians since 1981.

 

Make Art Not Walls

As anti-immigration sentiment grows in Italy, Virginia aims to bring out the human potential and restore dignity to people stranded in limbo. By offering asylum seekers an opportunity to tell their stories Virginia’s Project “Make Art Not Walls” is not only helping them to cope with the trauma they’ve been through but also introduces their stories to the local community

“Making art is a form of therapy.  The same courage that you apply to coming through the Sahara, arriving in Libya, getting on the boats, getting here, that courage can be also employed when you take up a pencil and you have a white sheet of paper and manage to make a mark on that,”  

I Will Shield You

In this unique series of woven shields, Virginia’s work takes on a poetic turn. The threads act as strands binding together personal, political and historical memory. Forming a kind of surface upon which we might reflect our own experience. The artist’s intention was to address what she perceives as the growing culture of fear, rational fears of global warming and less rational/instilled fears, such as the rising Islamophobia in the West or simply the constructed fear of “the Other.” 

Castaway

A collection of 2000 sculptural paintings made between 2003 and 2008. Objects were collected on the beaches of Ghana. The installation is concerned with the memory of gold, slavery, oceans, beaches, people and displacements. The collaged Castaways are each constructed from objects that were once desired and purchased, used and worn, carried and discarded, left to wash out on the tide and then carried back in. 

Walks

In the heart of beautiful green Umbria lies the medieval town of Assisi, where St. Francis was born. On this walking holiday you will pass through the colourful landscapes and the many monuments and sites which preserve the memory of St Francis and his companions.

This route largely follows two Franciscan walking trails: the ‘Sentiero Franciscano’, or ‘Franciscan Path’, which connects Nocera with Assisi, and the ‘Sentiero della Pace’ (‘Path of Peace’), between Assisi and the town of Gubbio, with its handsome medieval centre.

Weaving

Until the beginning of the mid-twentieth century the cultivation of hemp was a widespread practice, popular in the entire region of Umbria, both in the valleys and in the mountains. We have collaborated with the Museo della Canapa who offer at every level, a rich didactic program, which enhances understanding of the modernisation of hemp and traditional weaving.

From ethnography to laboratory practice, through a multi-sensorial approach based on creative performances, experience the weaving world, come in contact with the traditional tools, looms, yarns and woven fabric.

 

 

Art Residency

At the end of Virginias Garden hidden amongst the Olive trees, is a glass studio. Panoramic views over the Umbrian hills. Here in solitude and quiet is an opportunity to create.