Jennifer Ryan

Artist Statement

I am inspired by the physical and psychological facets of body and nature. I examine these themes in various mediums; excited by each process, and how it mimics the idea that all systems are created and intertwined by delicate but resilient parts.

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and have had several bouts of steroid treatment to keep me stable. My most recent sentence was lengthy and intense and I needed something to keep my mind and hands busy. I felt like I was vibrating with energy, electrifying everything I came into contact with. I imagined the cells in my body multiplying endlessly, filling every crevice with bacteria, like the tongues of flames licking at the wood and leaving their marks. I became obsessed with each stroke of the pen from the initial dip into the ink to the subtle opening of the nib allowing the liquid to ooze out and mark the page. The movement was, and is, addicting; the swirl of the colors mixing as I completed the action; sometimes very slow as my face got closer to the surface and closely observed the curve of each line.

All of the pieces started as random clusters of marks and grew into larger growths, taking on lives of their own. Eventually each “species” of line demands its place and directs the next sequence, and I move on… and on…and on…

During these periods of treatment that my body has had to endure, and even in times of remission, I return to the constant thought that we are connected, and delicate, and resilient.

And I keep dipping my pen in the ink.  

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