The social consequences of severe job cuts are still felt in every corner of Great Britain to this day. Ryan Mutter believes there is much to learn from the country’s industrial heritage. Lessons about community, skill-sharing and remaining positive in bleak times.
Ryan has built up a formidable reputation as a powerful contemporary painter of Industrial and Maritime subjects. His bold realism combined with expressionistic brushwork, transports you into a world of arresting detail and mechanised splendour.
Born in 1978, he studied at the Glasgow School of Art, where he graduated in 2001. He has now won many distinguished awards, including four from the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts.
His inspiration comes from Britain’s industrial heritage and its connection between man and the sea. In Glasgow alone shipbuilding provided work for 70,000 men in more than 50 yards spread along 11 miles of quayside. But today these yards sit empty, a shadow of their former self. The advancements made in technology and design methods superseded the old, and made once important skills and craftsmanship redundant. This is what drives Ryan as he looks to capture and remind people of how important this work force was in the development of the modern world.
“There will be kids growing up near the Clyde who – if you didn’t tell them about the shipbuilding – probably wouldn’t know what used to be there,” says Ryan. “That’s one of the things that drives me.”
“I want to make sure there’s always going to be something out there that’s evocative and will remind people what was there in previous generations. What Glasgow and Britain was famous for. World famous at that.”