Kathryn Ryan
New Paintings 2010

28 July – 15 August 2010

Tim Olsen Gallery



There has been a shift in my work…. from the wintry landscapes of rural South West Victoria, to Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands. In between all this was the desert of the United Arab Emirates…..


My views to the landscape were different in the past two years. My eyes were taken from the wintry paddocks of the Western District to the deserts of the UAE, and the high rises of a different culture in Abu Dhabi, an island city built up from the desert sands. This vastly different landscape, both desert and urban was an extreme contrast to what I was used to.  I absorbed it all, wrote about it and photographed it… It is still brewing to be be painted.


It is from this background, that I then travelled again to Scotland, to the beloved highlands. Coming directly from Abu Dhabi's extreme heat, it was more than a breath of fresh air! The heat in Abu Dhabi can be suffocating, you literally  crave to breathe fresh air. So to land amongst the Scottish Highlands covered in thick snow was breathtaking. We welcomed the novelty of  cold weather, of dressing in winter clothes, and the sights before us were majestic.


I think the Glen Coe area would probably be majestic to anyone at anytime, however perhaps my experience was heightened coming from living in the desert.


This landscape before me was purely majestic. Vast, beautiful, serene (despite its history), expansive, quiet and still, a place of solitude and vast space, and the light! The light, how do you describe it? Snow on every surface, reflecting light in every direction, from crisp blue skies to hazy low cloud cover. The majestic mountains soaring up in this vast snow covered landscape. It captured me, inspired me, still has a hold of me….


Winter must capture me, or is it the light and atmospheric conditions? I have been painting the South West of Victoria for some years now, in all its wintry conditions. The quality of subdued winter light, the atmosphere and space have always drawn me in.  The recent paintings of the South West try and evoke these wet, wintry, rainy and foggy days so common in the dairy country.


Kathryn Ryan 2010