The small sketchbooks contain drawings, notes, watercolours, scribbles…sometimes these may be figurative representations of people and places, at other times abstract doodles, diagrams and maps. Selected pages have been re-examined on a large scale revealing the subconscious and/or accidental information they contain.
The structure of a line observed with the physical eye, or the mind’s eye, can be re-evaluated and interpreted revealing the thoughts involved. The amount of information ‘encoded’ into these small marks is often surprising. The end results of these enquiries are large-scale ‘drawings’ which at first appear spontaneous, but on closer inspection reveal a ‘process’ layered on top of the image.
As starting points the sketchbooks lead to the other large works. In contrast the site-specific sketches onto the windows of The Economist building draw upon architectural and figurative elements from around the site, creating a relationship between the inside and outside.
Paul Ryan lives and works in London, has exhibited both in the UK and abroad, most recently at Gallery 3, 14 Norway and at the MK Ciurlionis State Museum of Art, Lithuania. The forthcoming exhibition of sketchbooks at the Royal Overseas League opens 29 March to 31 May 2001. His works on paper are included in the collections of the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Royal Mint.