at home: Artists in Conversation | Veronica Ryan

December 10, 2021

Veronica Ryan, artist, in conversation with Clarrie Wallis, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art (British), Tate

at home: Artists in Conversation

Join us for lively and inspiring conversations with some of today’s most notable artists. at home: Artists in Conversation brings together curators and artists to discuss various artistic practices and insights into their work.

About Veronica Ryan

Born in 1956 in Plymouth, Montserrat and raised in England, Ryan creates meticulously handcrafted work using a wide range of materials, including bronze, plaster, marble, textile, and found objects. Her sculptures and installations examine environmental and sociopolitical concerns, personal narratives and memories, as well as the wider psychological implications of history, trauma and recovery.

Ryan has studied at St. Albans College of Art and Design, Bath Academy of Art in Corsham Court, the Slade School of Art at University College, London, and the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. Over her forty-year career, she has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and residencies within the UK, the US, and abroad. Her first one-person exhibition was at Arnolfini, Bristol in 1987. Other important one-person shows have been presented at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (1988); Camden Arts Centre, London (1995); Aldrich Museum (1996), Salena Gallery, Brooklyn (2005); Tate St Ives (2000, 2005 and 2017); The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2011); and The Art House, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England (2017). Ryan has been the recipient of many awards and prizes including most recently the 2019 Pollock Krasner Grant and the 2018 Freelands Award, which supported her exhibition Along a Spectrum on Spike Island in Bristol in summer 2021. Her work is in many private and public collections such as the Arts Council Collection, Contemporary Art Society, the Hepworth Wakefield, Sainsbury’s Collection, Tate Collection, and the Weltkunst Collection at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

In June 2020, the Hackney Council commissioned Ryan to create a public artwork celebrating the London borough’s Windrush Generation—the first permanent public sculpture to do so in the UK—which was unveiled in October 2021. Ryan created a series of large marble and bronze sculptures representing Caribbean fruit and vegetables. On her inspiration, she said: “I have memories of going to Ridley Road Market with my mother as a child to buy fruit and vegetables, fabrics, and sewing materials. Little did I know, those early experiences would become essential material for my practice as an artist [….] I remember as a toddler during the 1950s the difficulties my young hopeful parents from Montserrat dealt with, navigating a new country and often inhospitable circumstances.”

This program is presented through the generosity of the Terry F. Green 1969 Fund for British Art and Culture.