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Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan originally started out his career as a metal worker. He confesses he had no interest from day one and says in his own words, that he was the worst metal worker on the Clyde! Moving on from metal work, he started a business buying and selling cars, improving them and spray painting. He did this for around twenty years, before opening a business with his brother Martin. Robert’s new business was a step closer to his creative nature, designing, making and selling mirrors with his brother, leading to a successful 15 year career, supplying large jewellers and gift shops with mirrors and frames. Later, Robert started to work on small decorative metal panels, stepping even closer to the work he produces now. Robert travelled to Australia on many occasions, living there for years at a time. Travelling the country led him through many colourful places such as Thailand and Bali, and is reflected in his work. When living in Australia, Robert worked for a special effects company, which gave him opportunities and inspiration to try new and different types of decorative work, eventually leading to his ‘glass canvases’. His jewel-like works have been an amalgamation of travels, experiences and memories. Each piece is totally unique, with Robert painstakingly applying copper wires, crushed gemstones and metal pieces into each piece of glass. He calls them ‘jewellery for walls’. Robert has developed an exceptional art, the results of which are truly stunning. In a crucible of light, translucent colours and vibrant shape shifting the art breathes a life of its own and constantly changes. The precise method of his craft is a well guarded secret but the process starts not with a blank canvas but with clear, blank glass and a shard of an idea. Ryan uses sheet glass as a canvas doing everything the artists would normally do in reverse. Instead of painting the images then framing it in glass, the glass front is the canvas. Multiple layers of minerals, crushed gem stones, metal work, paint and a great deal of imagination are applied, the idea of which is only evident in Ryan's head - the result of which is often not all that it seems. Each piece is absolutely unique and presents the owner with a challenge to make up his own mind as to the story, if any, trapped in the pane. In Ryan's own words 'Like an old memory it starts in the back of my mind. I make no attempt to catch the idea, rather, it flits back and forth over days and weeks, an anxiety builds slowly... then the work becomes a pleasure which in turn is felt by you the viewer completing the connection between us'. The colours of Ryan's art work come from distant memories of Thailand, Bali and the Pacific coastlines. The joy of Ryan's work is twofold. Firstly, the interaction with light and how that dances in his 'paintings'. The second is the interaction with the reader's imagination. Although Ryan has created a masterpiece in each of his pieces, the enchantment is in your interpretation. Ryan sells out year on year at London's Affordable Art Fair amongst other events, with customers being drawn to specific pieces then returning to snap up more of his work.

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