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Biography

Veronica Ryan (b. 1956, Plymouth, Montserrat) has engaged with issues of history, identity, dislocation, and belonging throughout her career. In meticulously handcrafted works composed of materials that reference her Afro-Caribbean heritage and upbringing in the U.K., Ryan examines the psychology and semantics of perception, and experiences of place, home, memory, and loss. Ryan’s 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 (1995); Aldrich Museum (1996); Salena Gallery, Brooklyn (2005); Tate St Ives (2000, 2005 and 2017); The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2011); The Art House, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England (2017); and Spike Island, Bristol (2021). In 2021, a sculpture by Ryan honoring the Windrush Generation will be unveiled outside Hackney Town Hall in London. Her work is in public collections including the Arts Council Collection, Contemporary Art Society, Sainsbury’s Collection, Tate Collection, the Wakefield Collection at The Hepworth Wakefield, and the Weltkunst Collection at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Ryan currently lives and works in both New York and the U.K.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Veronica Ryan Celebration, 2002-2003 photographic print and acrylic on card stock ​8 x 13 in. (20.3 x 33 cm); frame: 10 1/8 x 15 x 1 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.1 x 3.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan
Celebration, 2002-2003
photographic print and acrylic on card stock
8 x 13 in. (20.3 x 33 cm); frame: 10 1/8 x 15 x 1 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.1 x 3.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan Magnolia/Magnoliaceae, 2021 mixed media dimensions variable

Veronica Ryan
Magnolia/Magnoliaceae, 2021
mixed media
dimensions variable
Commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield as part of the exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life, 2021-2022
Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield.

Veronica Ryan Pouch, 2020 red netting containing stitched dried orange peels, black thread 5 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 6 3/8 in. (14 x 20 x 16 cm) Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol.

Veronica Ryan
Pouch, 2020
red netting containing stitched dried orange peels, black thread
5 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 6 3/8 in. (14 x 20 x 16 cm)
Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol.

Veronica Ryan In Extremis, Obliterate, Oblivions, 1998 acrylic and ink print on paper 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (21.6 x 14 cm)

Veronica Ryan
In Extremis, Obliterate, Oblivions, 1998
acrylic and ink print on paper
8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (21.6 x 14 cm)

Veronica Ryan Slade, 1980 Kaffir-D plaster, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, seeds, thread, wood approx. 50 x 12 x 6 in. (127 x 30.4 x 15.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan
Slade, 1980
Kaffir-D plaster, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, seeds, thread, wood
approx. 50 x 12 x 6 in. (127 x 30.4 x 15.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan Veronica Ryan: Salvage, Freelands Foundation, June 27 - August 11, 2019 Photo: Peter Mallet Photography.

Veronica Ryan
Veronica Ryan: Salvage, Freelands Foundation, London, June 27 - August 11, 2019
Photo: Peter Mallet Photography.

Veronica Ryan Liminal Spaces, Feathers In Her Head, Sewing Seeds 2, 2019 as installed in "Portable Sculpture," Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, U.K., February - August, 2021. Photo: John McKenzie.

Veronica Ryan
Liminal Spaces, Feathers In Her Head, Sewing Seeds 2, 2019
as installed in "Portable Sculpture," Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, U.K., February - August, 2021.
Photo: John McKenzie.

Veronica Ryan Punnet I, 2020 dyed thread doily, stacked cardboard mushroom boxes, yellow stone casts 6 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (15 x 50 x 50 cm) Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol

Veronica Ryan
Punnet I, 2020
dyed thread doily, stacked cardboard mushroom boxes, yellow stone casts
6 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (15 x 50 x 50 cm)
Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol

Veronica Ryan Arrangement In Layers, Stacking Up Moments I-X, 2016-2019 recycled avocado trays, seeds, dark blue and orange wool and cotton crochet, metal, dimensions variable Collection: Tate Modern

Veronica Ryan
Arrangement In Layers, Stacking Up Moments I-X, 2016-2019
recycled avocado trays, seeds, dark blue and orange wool and cotton crochet, metal, dimensions variable
Collection: Tate Modern

Veronica Ryan Luminescence, 2018 plastic bottles, net, thread ​7 x 11 x 9 in. (17.8 x 27.9 x 22.9 cm)

Veronica Ryan
Luminescence, 2018
plastic bottles, net, thread
7 x 11 x 9 in. (17.8 x 27.9 x 22.9 cm)

Veronica Ryan Untitled, 1977-78 plaster, metal, wood approx. 5 ft. x 4 ft. x 19 in. Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court

Veronica Ryan
Untitled, 1977-78
plaster, metal, wood
approx. 5 ft. x 4 ft. x 19 in.
Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court

Veronica Ryan Protectors, 2017 individual hand-quilted dyed pillows (blush with red), adapted steel industrial shelving (orange), thread

Veronica Ryan
Protectors, 2017
individual hand-quilted dyed pillows (blush with red), adapted steel industrial shelving (orange), thread
50 x 23 5/8 x 16 1/4 in. (127 x 60 x 41 cm)
Photo: Jules Lister. Courtesy The Art House, Wakefield.

Veronica Ryan Celebration, 2002-2003 photographic print and acrylic on card stock ​8 x 13 in. (20.3 x 33 cm); frame: 10 1/8 x 15 x 1 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.1 x 3.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan
Celebration, 2002-2003
photographic print and acrylic on card stock
8 x 13 in. (20.3 x 33 cm); frame: 10 1/8 x 15 x 1 1/4 in. (25.7 x 38.1 x 3.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan Magnolia/Magnoliaceae, 2021 mixed media dimensions variable

Veronica Ryan
Magnolia/Magnoliaceae, 2021
mixed media
dimensions variable
Commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield as part of the exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life, 2021-2022
Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield.

Veronica Ryan Pouch, 2020 red netting containing stitched dried orange peels, black thread 5 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 6 3/8 in. (14 x 20 x 16 cm) Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol.

Veronica Ryan
Pouch, 2020
red netting containing stitched dried orange peels, black thread
5 1/2 x 7 7/8 x 6 3/8 in. (14 x 20 x 16 cm)
Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol.

Veronica Ryan In Extremis, Obliterate, Oblivions, 1998 acrylic and ink print on paper 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (21.6 x 14 cm)

Veronica Ryan
In Extremis, Obliterate, Oblivions, 1998
acrylic and ink print on paper
8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (21.6 x 14 cm)

Veronica Ryan Slade, 1980 Kaffir-D plaster, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, seeds, thread, wood approx. 50 x 12 x 6 in. (127 x 30.4 x 15.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan
Slade, 1980
Kaffir-D plaster, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, seeds, thread, wood
approx. 50 x 12 x 6 in. (127 x 30.4 x 15.2 cm)

Veronica Ryan Veronica Ryan: Salvage, Freelands Foundation, June 27 - August 11, 2019 Photo: Peter Mallet Photography.

Veronica Ryan
Veronica Ryan: Salvage, Freelands Foundation, London, June 27 - August 11, 2019
Photo: Peter Mallet Photography.

Veronica Ryan Liminal Spaces, Feathers In Her Head, Sewing Seeds 2, 2019 as installed in "Portable Sculpture," Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, U.K., February - August, 2021. Photo: John McKenzie.

Veronica Ryan
Liminal Spaces, Feathers In Her Head, Sewing Seeds 2, 2019
as installed in "Portable Sculpture," Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, U.K., February - August, 2021.
Photo: John McKenzie.

Veronica Ryan Punnet I, 2020 dyed thread doily, stacked cardboard mushroom boxes, yellow stone casts 6 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (15 x 50 x 50 cm) Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol

Veronica Ryan
Punnet I, 2020
dyed thread doily, stacked cardboard mushroom boxes, yellow stone casts
6 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (15 x 50 x 50 cm)
Photo: Max McClure. Courtesy Spike Island, Bristol

Veronica Ryan Arrangement In Layers, Stacking Up Moments I-X, 2016-2019 recycled avocado trays, seeds, dark blue and orange wool and cotton crochet, metal, dimensions variable Collection: Tate Modern

Veronica Ryan
Arrangement In Layers, Stacking Up Moments I-X, 2016-2019
recycled avocado trays, seeds, dark blue and orange wool and cotton crochet, metal, dimensions variable
Collection: Tate Modern

Veronica Ryan Luminescence, 2018 plastic bottles, net, thread ​7 x 11 x 9 in. (17.8 x 27.9 x 22.9 cm)

Veronica Ryan
Luminescence, 2018
plastic bottles, net, thread
7 x 11 x 9 in. (17.8 x 27.9 x 22.9 cm)

Veronica Ryan Untitled, 1977-78 plaster, metal, wood approx. 5 ft. x 4 ft. x 19 in. Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court

Veronica Ryan
Untitled, 1977-78
plaster, metal, wood
approx. 5 ft. x 4 ft. x 19 in.
Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court

Veronica Ryan Protectors, 2017 individual hand-quilted dyed pillows (blush with red), adapted steel industrial shelving (orange), thread

Veronica Ryan
Protectors, 2017
individual hand-quilted dyed pillows (blush with red), adapted steel industrial shelving (orange), thread
50 x 23 5/8 x 16 1/4 in. (127 x 60 x 41 cm)
Photo: Jules Lister. Courtesy The Art House, Wakefield.

Video

Veronica Ryan discusses her major one-person exhibition Along a Spectrum at Spike Island, Bristol (May 19–September 5, 2021).