The Way Home 2019 

A moody, solitary pine, evoking memories, another time, looking back into the past, back to your roots... Our human condition, our strengths & fragilities, entwined in our life's journey... these were the kind of thoughts I had when painting this series 'The Way Home'.

Kathryn Ryan , The Way Home, Artist Statement

Nanda Hobbs May 23-June 8 2019


'The Way Home' refers to journeys which are metaphorical, personal, inward looking as well as belonging to my own history of growing up in the landscape, closely affected by the changing weather , seasons and times of day on a farm. My memories of place, weather, family, childhood and yearnings for something more, which eventually took me far away from this landscape... only in latter years to return with the comfort of accepting that what is on offer here is rich and sustaining, feeding my soul and my wellbeing and enduring inspiration for my art.

There was a yearning for space, light and quiet all the years I lived in cities, these qualities had been something that made sense to me, where I belonged, and gave my creative daydreaming space to wander. Yet at the time there was also a yearning for more than the quiet landscape could offer..., the stimulation and different experiences that are on offer through a wider set of friends and people I met in the cities, a closeness & sense of belonging to my tribe in the 'art world', music and cultural events, social life etc. In time I have sought a balance between these two different worlds or aspects of what I need to sustain myself and my art practice. I am more than happy to retreat into my studio and a quieter life living in the country, knowing that all on offer out there can still be accessed,... in smaller doses!

Now, once again I am surrounded by natures beauty, the large skies, wild oceans and the evocative farming landscape of my childhood, paddocks dotted with the rows of cypress hedges and wind battered rows of tall pines. The trees silhouetted against the evening skies, sunrise and sunset, the approaching winter clouds and fading light of day. They are loaded with memories of all my years of both growing up in the country, visiting throughout all my years of living in cities and now returned again to the area to live.

This series of work also began on a more subconscious or personal 'way home' as I was also striving to return to earlier inspirations and way of painting, the source of my art practice. As a younger artist, exploring painting techniques, handling and imagery, searching to find my own visual language, my truth, how my artwork could express my own inner truth, my way of seeing the world. In my 20's, there seemed to be more freedom of expression of experimenting, of throwing paint around , turps off, using rags, more energetic in the search to create a visual language that mirrored back to me what I saw and how I felt or what I was trying to communicate.

In the current series of 'The Way Home ' , particularly the paintings: Presence, Resilience, Illumination, The Way Home & Looking Back... I was also striving to reconnect with the way I painted and developed my work in my younger days, to let go, work intuitively, loosen up. In their process these works had paint brushed on, wiped on & off with rags, textured and then later softer blending from my more recent ways of working, so it became a combining of the ways of working I had developed. It reconnected me with my earlier ways of working and also brought them in to the present with my recent way of exploring painting now. Always still striving to communicate my way of seeing, feeling, memories and yearnings...the landscape as metaphor and holder of memories and inspiration, working with juxtapositions of light and dark, space and intimate details, creating a sense of place, light and mood that is evocative of my memories and experience in the landscape I have lived with for over 50 years.

Kathryn Ryan May 2019