Lisa Ryan’s Becoming Light is up at WinCam in Winchester. Her works show transformation from stillness to motion, from dark to light, from body to energy. Light painting has a performance element to it; in that respect it is like dance.
Tell us a little about your background.
My family was always interested in the arts. One grandfather collected art for what is now the Glypotek Museum in Copenhagen. Another was the painter John Graham. I grew up surrounded by wonderful art and took drawing and painting lessons from an early age.
When I got to Pratt Institute of Art in NYC, I started out as a painting major but became fascinated by photography. I wanted to work directly with light and in color.
Now, many years later, as a night photographer and light painter, I have come full circle: I paint and draw with light, captured by the camera.
Do you have an end goal in mind when you begin creating a photo?
I work in series of images. The process of light painting and drawing is repetition and trial and error. One image leads to the next as I refine or develop the idea. Sometimes projects lie dormant, then come to life again. Projects I have worked on include Light Gardens (light drawings), and Fire People (double exposures of fire and people). The Becoming Light (light drawings of the human figure) series began in 2016, and I have worked on it on and off since then.
What feeling do you wish to convey with each piece?
In Becoming Light I would like the viewers to imagine themselves dancing, transforming into light/energy. I would like them to feel a sense of freedom: Imagination is the only limit.
What inspires you to keep making?
Making photographs is both sustaining and fun for me. It’s an important part of how I live in the world. I can’t imagine life without it.
ABOUT LISA RYAN
Lisa Ryan is a night photographer and light painter. The influence of her fine arts education can be seen in her use of light to draw and paint. Working with various light tools she incorporates gestures and movement. In addition to lighting landscapes at night, she creates scenes, including clothing the figure and creating night gardens from light.
Ryan’s photographs have been exhibited in shows presented by the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester MA, the Center for Photographic Art, Carmel CA and in many juried exhibits throughout the US. She has curated group exhibits of night photography at the Front Street Gallery, Scituate MA and at the Art Complex Museum, Duxbury MA.
Her images have been featured in print and digital publications including NASA’s APOD, “RechargeTheArts”, a juried group exhibition on Instagram, Fraction Magazine, and The Literate Image.
Ryan has been co-organizer of the Greater Boston Night Photographers Meetup since 2014.