Three life-sized bronze whiprays hide just below the surface in the shallows of Lake Cootharaba in Natalie Ryan’s beautifully realised, A Fever of Rays. Possibly Floating Land’s first exclusively submarine sculptural installation, the realism in Ryan’s capturing of these majestic creatures, as well as their situation in the ray’s natural habitat, blurs the perceptual distinction between art and life.
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Natalie Ryan’s practice explores themes that surround the aesthetic representation of the cadaver and natural sciences throughout history and their inclusion in contemporary art. Drawing from existing methodologies used for displaying these elements, Ryan is interested in the process of imaging the natural world and the exchange between science and art that has allowed this. Ryan has worked with anatomical collections held in the Veterinary Department at the University of Melbourne, undertaken a medical residency at Monash University Gippsland and lectured in Anatomical Drawing working with human cadavers at Monash University. Ryan holds a PhD at Monash University, Imaging the Dead: The Cadaver in Western Culture and Contemporary Art. Ryan is also part of a collaboration ‘The Ryan Sisters’ with her sister Pip Ryan.
Recent exhibitions include OktoLab19, Plimsol Gallery TAS, The Force that through the green fuse drives the flower, Noosa Regional Gallery QLD, Imaging the Dead at Linden New Arts VIC, Nocturne Stockroom Gallery VIC, Dark MOFO TAS, Curious and Curiouser at Bathurst Regional Gallery NSW, Second Nature at Blackartprojects VIC, Beyond Reason at QUT Art Museum QLD, Shifting Skin at China Heights NSW and Mortem in Imagine curated at LUMA and the VAC Bendigo.