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Image by SJ Objio

Artistic Origins

Rebecca Ryan


I've always been interested in history, in particular women's history, and my work tries to highlight their lost story. I feel that women's stories have been silent but strong, so I like to use materials that are predominantly related to women.  I also like to use materials that have had a life, reusing and giving them another life. 

I have studied art at Perth Tafe and RMIT in Melbourne majoring in printmaking although I would say that I am more of a mixed media artist. My family history was a major inspiration, in that my mother's family, Brown, were on the first fleet to Western Australia and Peter Brown became the first Colonial Secretary. My father's family I don't know as much, they are Yamaji, Aboriginal peoples in the Murchison and Gascony regions of Western Australia. There is so much history in their stories and a lot of my work used to deal with the White Australia Policy in regard to the Indigenous population. 

I have also been interested in women's stories and I like to make drawings of female objects as they deserve recognition. Some of my previous work include large images of women's accessories. I think about my grandmother who had to leave her nursing career two weeks after graduating when she married my grandfather. My great-grandmother who had to look after her children whilst her husband had his PTSD from WWI, their silent and unrecognised life. 

I didn't do much art during the last nine year as I worked in mining as a FIFO admin, which was a great change from a broke artist, however in 2015 I had a year off when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had a year of treatment. I was very ill for most of it and during that time I started creating again, working with material that were in my bedroom. The work produced were a lot of repetitive and detailed work which helped me to get through my illness. I went back to work the next year happy to get on with my life but I'm now returning to this creative part of my life and working on something that I love to do. 

I live in Stirling in Perth, Western Australia with my two boys. 

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