“Think of crawfish, think of crawfish holes, think of water, think of swimming, think of diving, think of sea creatures and also think of rocks and caves,” she says. “Think of metal; metal that you find in the dirt when you’re a kid, think of metal undergoing changes. Think of tying your shoelaces, think of not knowing what to do sometime and just doing it.” – Lynda Benglis
This quote by artist Lynda Benglis’ perfectly sums up the colorful paintings of Ruth Ava Lyons who is inspired by her own passion for diving, endangered watery ecosystems, natural disasters and other environmental factors resulting from: “co-existence and the negative effect of man’s behavior on the natural world.”
Lyon’s brightly colored mixed media paintings evoke the shimmering hues of the sea and the sensuality of moist surroundings. She says: “I am drawn to and inspired by a variety of environments that speak to me. These include places like the amazing Great Barrier Reef/Australia, the Florida Everglades, Congaree, Cumberland Island, National Parks, wetlands, forests and more. I attempt to use a vocabulary combining both organic and graphic forms to symbolize my thoughts on the status and ongoing threats to these places of wonder.”
An avid scuba diver, hoop-dancer, motorcyclist, gallerist and artist Ruth Ava Lyons lives in Charlotte, NC where she and her partner, sculptor, Paul Sires, were the long time owners of the Center of the Earth Gallery one of the regions’ most important contemporary art galleries for over 20 years. Lyons currently facilitates Lyons Fine Art Consulting, an art consulting company that places contemporary art in residential and corporate environments. Lyons received a BFA from Kent State University and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is a recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, an American Scandinavian Foundation grant, a Ford scholarship, and several other grants and residencies, including a 2013 residency at Heron Island Research Station at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
– Mary Anne Redding
My interest in mans relationship to the natural world has been an undercurrent in my work throughout my life as an artist. I intuitively gather,distill, and layer organic imagery, recreating a fusion landscape suggesting a transformative state of birth, growth,degeneration,and renewal.
This fluid state also serves as a metaphor for our own existence as we move through life’s stages.I am inspired by endangered ecosystems, naturaI disasters, and other environmental factors resulting from co-existence and the negative effect of mans behavior.
The interjection of manmade graphic forms alludes to similarities and differences in the relationship between man and nature.Mystery and meanings emerge and disappear into veils of paint to convey the beauty of seen and unseen forces around us. I am intrigued and disturbed by nature’s ability to survive in the face of constant adversity, and I interpret and balance the serious implications of that with positive harmonies.
– Ruth Ava Lyons