Ron Eady: Raw Oddities, Nostalgia
‘I don't think that people accept the fact that life doesn't make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable.’ - David Lynch
Like a cold case detective searching for a buried clue, the narratives behind the work of Ron Eady quietly reveal themselves from behind a thick fog of mystery.
And like the characters and places from a David Lynch film, his images are haunting, strange, and frequently reflect our darker corners.
Ron Eady is a painter and sculptor. Many of his paintings are encaustic and include vintage campers, warplanes, figures staring back, dark rough water, and cold industrial landscapes. His sculptures, mostly chopped and carved from wood, consist of terrific faces. They are not refined in a highly detailed sense, yet their rawness is what makes them charismatic and true to the material.
Eady's work encapsulates both a sense of nostalgia and the future. Working between two studios – one in Muskoka and the other in Hamilton – enables and inspires Eady to create a contrasting backdrop for his work. One that mixes the natural and the industrial.
We caught up with Ron before he gets lost in the woods for the summer...
"I would like to leave the viewer with unanswered questions, where it’s not all spelled out and they can interpret the image." - Ron Eady
When did you first become interested in art?
From as far back as my memory goes, I remember that my public school had a show of my works in the hallways....my first exhibition!
What are you working on right now?
A couple of pieces nearing completion at my sculpture studio carved from 100 year old beams and at my painting studio an encaustic industrial interior piece and a figurative based oil.
What inspires your work?
Living in Hamilton, many works are inspired from the surrounding industrial landscapes and waterscapes. I also have a Muskoka studio that inspires my landscape pieces or works with a kind of dark nostalgia feel which often include figures with old boats, trailers, dogs etc......sometimes everything just melds together.
Which artist/s have influenced your work the most throughout your career?
There are many painters and sculptors that I find inspirational for different reasons but I find the works of Anselm Kiefer very moving and monumental.
If you could give your younger artist self advice about something you know now what advice would you give to him?
Something that I have always tried to do, stay true to your own creative vision, experiment and do things outside your comfort zone.
If you were not an artist, what would you be and why?
Print production sales for an outdoor advertising company dealing with ad agencies.....which I did for many years. It was great to work within a creative related industry and have a steady income while developing my art career.
How has your artistic practice changed over time?
My earlier artworks were more focused on representative pencil drawing which was a good foundation.
What would you like others to know about your art that you feel makes it unique?
Many of my works draw inspiration from the surroundings of my two studio locations which are really quite opposites in many ways. The terrible beauty of the Hamilton area industrial landscapes and Lake Ontario waterscapes or the beautiful lakes and landscapes of the Muskoka area. However, the works of both areas are painted with an atmospheric feel and underlying sense of mystery.
What mediums do you work with?
Most of my paintings are in the encaustic medium, I also work with oils. My sculpture pieces are carved wood then painted with encaustic or acrylics.
Much of your work has a dream-like darkness, what kind of experience do you want the viewer to walk away with?
I would like to leave the viewer with unanswered questions, where it’s not all spelled out and they can interpret the image. I want the works to have an elusive nature to them or an atmospheric quality to them.
Can you tell us something you have learnt about the arts industry?
It’s wise to consult and get feedback from other artists before you work with an unknown gallery, especially if the gallery is out of town or country. I have had some negative experiences with galleries in California....sometimes you learn the hard way. However, the experiences with my Canadian gallery has been wonderful.
Ron Eady is represented by Earls Court Gallery where some of his sculptures are currently on display.