Virginia Ryan, Mutagenics 1-9

In March 2020 I found myself taking refuge at my sister’s home  in South Australia , the flight home to Italy having been cancelled due to the Corona-19 Pandemic.

I was not sure for how long I would be staying.

Over two weeks of what would be come a more extended period, I developed a series of works which I called Mutagenics – mutations/alterations of multiple figures collaged from old sewing patterns I’d recently come across in a second-hand shop, ubiquitous in Australia. The cut-outs were split: legs,torsos or heads glued together from different illustrations to create new bodies. These figures placed at the centre, visually intertwined with drawing/sewing interventions.

The circle form of the papers seemed appropriate to the crown/corona image. The works are small, able to become manifest in the intimate space where I was to work, a quiet bedroom in the house.

Mutation and genetics, a sense of transformation within an endless cycle intersects with contemporary explorations of identity and alterity. Simultaneously, the use of illustrations from old sewing patterns invited me to question recycling/altering/hand-made and hand-sewn – aspects of human fabrications which grew during lockdown,and may be present in the Post-Covid era we are entering.

Mutagenics 1-9

Cycle of nine works on hand-made Indian cotton rag paper

Collage,mixed media and sewn cotton thread. Each sized 50cm diameter

Virginia Ryan

Virginia Ryan  is an Australian-Italian binational artist, art therapist  and cultural activist graduated from the Australian National University School of Arts and Design (79) and postgraduate  in Art Therapy ( Scotland 94).

 She is an accademico di Merito at the Vannucci Belle arti in Perugia.

Since 1980, she has worked internationally within the disciplines of painting, photography, sculpture and installation, solo and in collaboration with artists, anthropologists and musicians.She works in Italy, Australia and West Africa.