9th October – 26th October 2019
‘A dear friend was fond of declaiming “the macrocosm, the microcosm!” whilst dramatically gesturing towards the world in general. I think of her when my gaze is drawn to small things. The understated and fragile, textures at my fingertips, shadows and sighs, a tiny movement that says I am here. In these whisperings I am invited to the game of creation; the minute world and vastness in one. Leaves fall…’ - Barbara Ryman
It is in times of quiet observation that the natural world offers such inspiration for Barbara Ryman. In her most recent exhibition, Leaves fall, we are reminded of the metaphor in smaller things; like the sight of leaves falling from a tree, or a moth that flutters past. These moments, when afforded contemplation, are like little windows into life; its subtle and understated complexities, vulnerability and grandeur. Parallel to a rumination on natural imagery, Ryman allows the same contemplation to her process; the meticulous detailing of silver, manipulation of copper into vessels and in her skilful and exploratory approach to vitreous enamelling.
The sight of leaves falling is a reflective moment in any sense, a signifier for change – an end or new beginning. In the context of calamitous change to the natural world, these moments to Ryman are like small reminders of what is at stake and at once, she attempts to capture and eternalise them, before they float away…
Barbara Ryman has been a leading influence in Australian Contemporary jewellery for more than 30 years, primarily for her exquisite and extraordinary work with vitreous enamel. In recent years she has spent much time in Japan studying Japanese enameling techniques with master craftsman and mentor, Tsuyura Sakurai. These influences have provided many new directions of exploration that can be seen in Ryman’s work. “As a mature artist, I have sometimes found this challenging, but it has also been inspirational and transformative. I hope I will always take such leaps of faith”.
Barbara has exhibited consistently both internationally and nationally and her work is held in both public and private collections e.g. Australian National Gallery, Canberra; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Museum of Contemporary Enamelling - Salou, Spain to name a few.