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Julie Ryder

Julie Ryder
Artist's statement

My initial training was in science, working in a veterinary research laboratory for many years. I believe this started my fascination with the micro and the macro - I am initially drawn to the outward appearance of an object or image, then immediately want to investigate closer. Once enlarged through a microscope, the minutiae change scale, become powerful, altering my perception of the original. I am seduced by pattern, colour and form, but ultimately I want to find out what lies beneath that. The use of repetition is inspired in part from observing nature, but also from my subsequent training as a textile designer working in multiple modular units.

In 1994 I developed a hybrid practice of art and science by using fruit fermentation to colour and pattern my cloth. The bacteria and moulds produced by the rotting fruit ferment over several months, staining the cloth with natural dyes and leaving ghostly patterns of the fruit behind. The silks are then further embellished by hand.

Since 2002, I have worked with other scientists and used scientific technology to inform my work. In recent works, photomicrographs taken with the Scanning Electron Microscope are manipulated via the computer to produce new compositions that are digitally printed onto cloth.

The recurring theme in my work is to challenge perceptions of the dichotomies between chaos and control, perfection and imperfection - questioning concepts of beauty and veracity. I search for the power of transformation inherent in all materials, and I work with textiles because they possess unlimited potential.

Recent work
  • Nets, 2007
  • Reflective glass thread, netting technique
  • Dimensions: 60cm x 310cm
  • Photo: Creative Image Photography
Net Returns
  • Net Returns, 2007
  • Reflective glass thread, netting technique, stainless steel
  • Dimensions: Each net 40cm diam x 300cm
  • Photo: Creative Image Photography
Transgenesis 3 (detail)
  • Transgenesis 3 (detail), 2007
  • Digital print on polyester
  • Dimensions: 104cm diameter
  • Photo: Julie Ryder

Generate: Emma (detail)
  • Generate: Emma (detail), 2008
  • Hand-cut leaf dots on tapa cloth
  • Dimensions: 45cm x80cm
  • Photo: Derek Ross
Regenerate:1859 (detail)
  • Regenerate:1859 (detail), 2008
  • Digitally printed silk
  • Dimensions: 130cm x 300cm
  • Photo: Julie Ryder
Metamorphosi 3 (detail)
  • Metamorphosi 3 (detail), 2010
  • Digitally printed silk
  • Dimensions: 62cm x 250cm
  • Photo: Julie Ryder

Julie Ryder is a textile designer and artist who specialises in exclusive fabrics for interiors, fashion and homewares. She has gained international acclaim for her work which incorporates innovative mark making techniques together with more traditional methods of surface design.

Initially trained in science, Ryder graduated in Studio Textiles at the Melbourne College of Textiles in 1990, and completed a Master of Arts (Visual Arts) degree at the Australian National University, School of Art in 2004.

Ryder has maintained an active professional studio practice, and has taught in tertiary institutions and community organizations, for over 20 years.

In 2005, Ryder was awarded the inaugural ANAT Synapse New Media Artist in Residence at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra, where she worked closely with Dr Christine Cargill, Curator of the Cryptogam Herbarium. She has been the recipient of many awards and grants, most notably the Gold Medal at the 1997 International Textile Design Competition in Taegu, Korea, the 2004 CAPO Singapore Airlines Award, a 2006 Australia Council VAB New Work Grant, and several grants from ArtsACT.

Ryder has exhibited in twelve solo, and over one hundred group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, and is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia; the National Gallery of Victoria; the Powerhouse Museum; the Art Gallery of South Australia; the Textile Museum in Tilberg, Netherlands; the Tamworth City Gallery. and many other public and private collections worldwide.

Selected exhibitions
2011:   Companion Planting, Jean Bellette Gallery - Hill End, NSW; Barometer Gallery - Sydney, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2011:   Creative Alchemy, Belconnen Arts Centre - Canberra
2010:   Abstract Nature, Samstag Gallery - Adelaide
2010:   13th International Tapestry Triennial - Lodz, Poland
2009:   ArtCloth: Engaging new Visions, Fairfield City Museum & Gallery - Sydney
2009:   Bravura: 21st century Australian Craft and Design, Art Gallery of South Australia - Adelaide
2008:   Thread Bare, Manning Regional Art Gallery - Taree, NSW
2008:   A Red World, Wangaratta Regional Gallery - Wangaratta, VIC
2008:   In Repeat, Cowra Regional Art Gallery - Cowra, NSW
2008:   generate, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra; Sturt Gallery - Mittagong, NSW
2007:   cryptomorph, Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum - Bathurst, NSW
2007:   transgenesis, Craft Victoria - Melbourne
2007:   Hidden in Plain View:The Forgotten Flora, Royal Botanic Gardens - Melbourne
2006:   Strange Attractors, Zendai Museum of Modern Art - Shanghai, China
2005:   art and the bryophyte, Australian National Botanic Gardens - Canberra
2005:   Constants and Variables, Kansas City Art Institute - Kansas City, Missouri, USA
2004:   microcosm, CSIRO Discovery Centre - Canberra
2004:   a matter of time, 16th Tamworth Fibre Biennial - Tamworth, NSW
2004:   Pins and Needles, National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne
2004:   Pojagi and Beyond, Waco Arts Centre - Waco, Texas
2003:   {b}iota, Sturt Gallery - Mittagong, NSW
2003:   Unwrapped: Australian Fashion and Textile Design, Bendigo Art Gallery - Bendigo, VIC
2002:   territory, Planet - Sydney
2002:   Contemporary Australian Fabrics, Gallery Fleur - Kyoto-Seika University, Japan
2002:   Australia-Korea Foundation Exhibition (Craftwest), Mokkumto Gallery - Seoul, Korea
2001:   Asian Fibre Art Festival - Fukuoka, Japan
2001:   Frisson, 14th Tamworth Fibre Biennial - Tamworth, NSW
2000:   Australian Alchemy, Lesley Craze Gallery, London
Selected commissions/awards/grants
2009:   Canberra Critics Circle Award
2008:   artsACT Project Grant
2006:   VAB New Work Established Grant, Australia Council
2005:   artsACT Project Grant
2004:   ANAT /Synapse New Media Artist in Residence, Australian National Botanic Gardens
2004:   CAPO Singapore Airlines Award
1997:   Winner, Gold Medal, International Textile Design Competition, Taegu, Korea
1996:   Winner, City of Melbourne Award for Excellence & Innovation
Selected publications
2009:   Walking with Darwin, Surface Design Magazine, Spring 2009, pp38-43
2007:   Matthew Koumis, Art Textiles of the World: Australia Vol. 2, Telos, UK
2006:   Strange Attractors: Charm between art and science, Novamedia
2005:   Sarah Braddock Clarke and Marie O'Mahony, Techno Textiles 2 : Revolutionary Fabrics for Fashion and Design, Thames & Hudson
2005:   Textile Fibre Forum,Vol. 80, Front Page, inside cover and Page 10
2004:   Merryn Gates, Metis: Time:04, CCAS
2004:   Fiberarts Magazine, Vol 31 No 1, p.16


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