For her epic new installation, London-based Irish contemporary artist Anne Ryan captures the sprawling dynamism of the city and its communities.
Through her vibrant ceramic and cement sculptures, paintings and three-dimensional cutouts, Ryan's observations, speculations and dreams of the city collide.
Part of Ryan’s starting point for her work comes from the slow city walks she takes around London, which she describes as saunters (from the French sans terre, meaning ‘without land’), and says: “Walking allows the city to open up with possibilities - dreamscapes, fictional spaces, historical sites. A saunter is different from a commute or a journey with purpose, far more playful and open-ended.”
In her cutouts and sculptures, Ryan recreates fragments of the city assembled from these walks which form their own daily narratives.
Figures and characters such as dog walkers, boxers, musicians, and horses transport viewers into noisy scenes of London life. Stories and scenarios, imagined and remembered, are constructed via glimpses through backlit windows or encounters on deserted pathways.
These saunters are also as much a journey through culture and the mental space an artist inhabits when making work - ‘a dream world while walking’ as Ryan calls it. These combine with situations observed in motion, contrasting the energy, debris and bodies which inhabit the streets.