Janita Ryan (Australia)
Title: Loose threads. I know not the Ending.
Medium: oil paint on gessoed linen, wax, cotton thread, glass beads
Size: 21 x 29cm
Janita Ryan is a Melbourne based multidisciplinary artist and VCA graduate whose practice includes painting, sculpture, embroidery and photography. Themes running through her work include the anthropocene and re-contextualizing women’s stories, liberating them from being killed off in the libretto. Most recently over Covid she has engaged in the making of artist books documenting these weird times.
Loose threads. I know not the Ending.
I started on this body of work some years ago whilst going through a divorce and feeling as if the oxygen had been sucked from my life. Eventually I put them away. They seemed too dark to continue with.
I pulled them out again and began reworking the images during Melbourne’s 2nd lockdown in 2020. The experience of each lockdown is different. For whatever reason and for however many reasons I found this second lockdown extremely difficult. Whilst the rest of the world and Australia opened up, we here in Melbourne were plunged back into isolation. No-one outside of Melbourne’s so called Ring of Steel seemed to understand how life really was here.
Once again I began to feel like the oxygen had been sucked from around me and replaced by some threatening contagion that necessitated the need for the breath in all speech to be captured and filtered through face masks. The streets became drained of energy. Life stagnated.
The linen mailed to me to make this work still bares the fold marks from being posted to me, a signifier to our socially distancing, travel restrictions and online shopping Covid times. The image shows a figure emerging out from the darkness wearing a breathing apparatus attached to a dissolving heart shaped bag. Branches of blackened blossom, reminiscent of embroidery on a linen tablecloth, adorn the image with a couple of loose threads hanging down……… unravelling.