Andrew Ryder artist statement

Andrew Ryder


colour light kinetic art


As a student in the 1970s I had an interest in the 1960s optical kinetic work of the Zero group in Germany and the South American artists of Group Researche D’arte Visuel in Paris. Artists who believed they could communicate without an institutional or political context.

I have always wanted to communicate directly and intuitively. The reason to be of a piece was usually a comparative relationship between elements.  A purposeful physical concept like a tension, a muscle or a machine. Ultimately this was about relative judgements and this theme persists throughout my work over the years.

The early work was kinetic with an interest in shadow, reflection, colour, sun and air movement. Later I added attractive and repulsive magnetised elements in suspended arrays. Later electric motors, electromagnetic pulse mechanisms with micro controllers and then LEDs.

The reason to be of a piece an investigation of the physical relationship between its elements. The physical constraint intrinsic in the materials, the necessity for a heat dissipating device, the integration of an insulated electrical circuit or the optimality of weight, balance and the refinement of structure

For a while I was concerned with depth differentiation and twilight perception, specifically an exploration of the Purkinje Shift, a perceptual anomaly that occurs at dusk.

My working process begins with a neurotic creative phase that resolves into a concept, a sort of renewal. The art is the reason for making a piece. What “the art” is, is like an answer when you don’t know the question. It resolves for a moment the tension between, aspiration, creative isolation, reality and the means to make it. It resolves into a leap, a sort of “why not just make it”.

It requires the consideration of balance, weight, structure, tension and movement which relates to a long interest in physical movement stemming from the practice martial arts for over fifty years. Slow tense and fast relaxed movements each with an urgent constant sense of balance. Of breathing and the harmony with surrounding space. The feeling of controlling nearby space. The retreating and intruding into space. The sensation of cold air, the breeze, a sunrise and a strong foundation that builds up from contact with the ground.

Artists in their work externalise something of themselves and I believe I do this with my work to varying degrees. Art practice is a continuing evolution and there is never a final absolute moment. There are high points, disasters, mistakes and dead ends, but never a finality.

I lost my studio in 2022 and now work from my West London flat. This has constrained my 3D work although I still make occasional light pieces. They have become modular and impermanent and more flexible in scale and orientation than previous work. I live surrounded by my work. As such I make work that I can be fascinated by each day. Those pieces that survive overworking exist as comparative experiences. Colour is the most important element and my current use of it stems from my earliest study at art school.

My work is held internationally in many private collections.

(Updated May 2023)

©Andrew Ryder 2023. All rights reserved


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