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Featuring the incredible drawings of Ryan Pola
Everything Gained. Everything Lost is a new exhibition showing at Off the Kerb Gallery. It features the incredible drawings and symbolic stories of Ryan Pola, expressing and reflecting on a period of growth.
Discover artworks by Ryan Pola such as this one titled Medusa, Waning
Ryan Pola is a Melbourne-based visual artist who takes his inspiration from nature and from an affinity to being both grounded and free. His works often include a critical dialogue regarding the interpersonal relationship he has with those around him as well as the relationship he has with himself, particularly during challenging periods or times of growth. He describes his artwork as "trying to pin-point moments of magic in my own experiences, mythology, and your typical archetypes of love, loss, and learning."
Ryan believes he has always had an inclination towards creativity. As a child he used it as a form of inquiry, allowing him to access, understand and explore materials around him. He shares his earliest memory in relation to art as "myself sitting at a small plastic table at my grandparent's house and pressing together folded paper with paint in-between the folds to make a butterfly." It was during high school that he realised art was a true passion and he continued his artistic journey through tertiary education, studying a Bachelor of Visual Art at Monash University.
Ryan works predominantly with graphite and gouache. Being a perfectionist by nature, he loves that graphite can be such a precise medium, very controllable but while still retaining malleability. He also uses gouache when requiring colour to support a particular work. In the Everything Gained. Everything Lost exhibition the audience can expect some fun moments of colour and a mural too.
This exhibition features works which reflect on a period of growth for the artist. Ryan describes this show as feeling "like growth after a heavy rain – it's light". He explains further, "At the start of this year I went through a lot of emotional turmoil and heartbreak, and this work feels like everything that came after. It's not the catharsis, but it is what comes after the catharsis. For me, the work feels like self-care, it feels like building myself up again, it feels as if it is light beaming through."
Indeed the notion of the light shining through is an important motif that features in a lot of his work. Conversely, another theme of this show is a sense of fear and disconcertion, addressing the loss as well as the gain, and a documentation of the holistic experience of the artist during a challenging period.