Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse

15 May 2020

Batten Down the Hatches

To coincide with his second major exhibition at The Scottish Gallery, Batten Down the Hatches, we have worked closely with Ross Ryan to give you as much access to the artist and his work as possible. Please see below to explore themes in his exhibition, watch films and more. To visit his exhibition page please click here.

This new collection of paintings is from two years of chasing gales, sailing to offshore lighthouses and discovering the people and their islands that found my messages in bottles. As the world has also temporarily battened down the hatches I hope this exhibition is a reminder of the beautiful seascapes of the West Coast that await for us.

Ross Ryan, 2020

Lighthouses

Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Painting at Dubh Artect, 50 miles west of Crinan
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Rolling and painting, Skerryvore Lighthouse
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Stevenson Light, Dubh Artach, oil and pastel on board, 122 x 123 cm

Lying west on the outer banks are two of the Stevensons’ largest lighthouses: Dubh Artach and Skerryvore. They are known by few but have offered salvation to thousands. Over 150 years their lights have blinked a simple message, a warning of the utmost danger. During this time, rage-filled seas have continued to de denied their rights for demolition

Ross Ryan, 2020
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Skerryvore Lighthouse Drift, dry point etching
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Dubh Artach Lighthouse Drift, dry point etching

Message Recieved

Of the Message in Bottles launched during the 2017 ‘solo winter voyage’, several have been found. Three of them took me to Tiree and Coll. I painted where they washed up and met those that discovered them.

Ross Ryan, 2020
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Mairi's Bottle, Balephetrish Bay, Isle of Tiree, oil and pastel on board, 116 x 122 cm
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Painting at Red Rock Beach, Isle of Coll, 2019
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Andrew's bottle, Red Rock beach, Isle of Coll, oil and pastel on paper, 59.5 x 84 cm

Storm chasing

During the winter I painted from the shore, recording the sea in all her anger. Here is a force that could move a beach overnight and flick rocks like unwanted peas. Many of these paintings are from when the pressure dropped, started and completed in the one sitting. Not all of them made it.

Ross Ryan, 2020

The seas were now massive, flashing their green fronts before tripping and folding into huge sold tubes. A stinking dead seal that had been close by got clawed back off the beach, I watched in awe as the tide somehow pulled it back out through the waves.

Ross Ryan, 2020
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Hurricane force, Tiree, oil and pastel on board, 116 x 175 cm (detail)
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Catriona's bottle, Ballevuillin Gale, Isle of Tiree, oil and pastel on board, 94 x 122 cm
Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Anchoring the painting against the wind, Mull of Kintyre

Whisky Galore

The MacLean brothers or Team Broar, were the first and fastest three brothers to row the Atlantic which they completed in January 2020. Ross Ryan, aboard the Sgarbh, accompanied the MacLean brothers in August 2019, as they underwent their first sea trial touring the distilleries of Islay and Jura. The brothers took on the amazing 3000 miles rowing challenge to raise money for the charities Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar. Find out more about Ross's Whisky artworks in the video below.

A message from Crinan

A message from Ross Ryan and his mother, painter Frances Macdonald from in Crinan. Ross's show is currently on until 30th May and Frances will be exhibiting in December 2020.

Ross Ryan | From the Wheelhouse
Ross Ryan. The Log Book Vol.2: Batten Down the Hatches. Exhibition catalogue.

The smart leisure guide

By enduring the harshest of environments, Ross Ryan’s collection of artwork, photographs and Logbook creates such a vividly illustrated narrative of his seafaring adventures.

Vivien Devlin, The Smart Leisure Guide

Ross was recently featured in an article in The Smart Leisure Guide. Please click here to read more.

The Scotsman

Anyone who caught Ryan’s last exhibition at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh in 2018 will be aware of his commitment to creating work in the open air, no matter how attritional the conditions.

Roger Cox, The Scotsman

Ross was featured in The Scotsman on 17th May, click here to read more.

Crinan through the ages

Watch below for a fascinating short documentary on Crinan and the Crinan Canal where Ross Ryan lives and works. Keep an eye out for Ross' boat the Sgarbh!

More News