A RICH LIFE
A RICH LIFE
A TIME LINE OF TRANSFORMATION | 2009 – 2019
A Rich Life’ examines Jennifer's the transformation into a dedicated, emerging artist. Forgoing a 35 year career in the education and training sector, she tapped into an as yet unexplored interest in creating art. The transformation was not smooth. It was more like a learner driver having lessons in a manual Mustang vehicle. Her decision was set in 2009 with the birth of her first grandaughter (Tabitha Jess). By October 2019, she felt comfortable that she was leaving a worthy legacy to her children (Chad Joseph, Jessica Jennie) and all her granddaughters (Dasha Ellen, Ruby Ruth and Violet Helen).
Important influences on art career have consisted of people in the Gladstone region of Queensland. in particular, the Discovery Coast area. Prior to 2009 Jennifer lived in Western Australia. It is here her art adventures initially began, in 1993. Desperately seeking to survive the diagnosis of auto-immune diseases, she enrolled in University of WA summer schools in watercolour painting. A determined character, she spend days and weeks mastering the skills in the art room on her Two Rocks holiday home. When, in 2009, she admitted defeat by the auto-immune diseases, she moved to the Agnes Water region of central Queensland.
In 2015, while purchasing materials, Ryan discovered an acrylics workshop that would change the direction of her life. The Creative Gladstone group running the workshop would play a pivotal role in the next 3 years of her life. Linking her to the Gladstone Region Art Gallery and Museum and pushing her towards the 1770 Captain Cook Art Show, she had the focus she was seeking.
At the age of 55 Jennifer Ryan retired from full time employment and moved permanently to the fami1y property in Captain Creek, where her journey to becoming an artist began. She was suffering severe effects of a lifetime of auto-immune complications, and spent several years enjoying the pleasures of the Australian bush and a hermit’s lifestyle.
ABSTRACT ART AND ART le BRUT
Jennifer Ryan expended a lot of energy painting, she tried many different styles, but had, at best , limited success. An avid participant in on-line art courses, her enrolment in a MoMA New York AbEx course was a game changer for her. As a result of the course, Ryan can honestly say she had had her work exhibited in a MoMA exhibition. It was not enough. She felt the need to explore her dreams in art and discontinued her association with the art group. Eventually, she discovered Art Le Brut and felt at home. No longer needing to always seek to create a fine art product, Ryan explored mark making on many materials and with many tools.
The genre allowed her to express her hidden emotions linked to living in the shadows of several auto-immune diseases. In 2018 she began developing works with two major foci. One, faces and masks. She began by sketching residents of the Gladstone region, and creating works that used colour to express her emotions through their image. Two, Through the Window works, where a window divides an image into before and after: life and dreams; this and then that. Her lifelong love of individualism found expression in extravagant strokes, and a focus on eyes. Ryan considers all portraits reveal her secret life, and track her artistic development.
In 2019 Jennifer Ryan has established strong connections to her Gladstone art community, and groups that have played a pivotal role in her life. Giving her the space to experiment with and learn about what it means to be an artist. Her small farm, with its isolation, calm setting among tall trees and native birds and animals and has been able to move beyond her limitations and look at the sources of her inspiration.