Virginia Ryan Izzo's 'Flowers of Love I' is an intricate examination of pattern and embroidery, with delicate pen lines utilized in the depiction of the hanging fabric. The mysterious symbols and enigmatic title of the work hint at hidden layers to the piece, with further meaning and purpose perhaps simmering just below the surface.
The astonishing detail of the work is achieved using pen and mixed media, with the pen allowing the artist to achieve a level of control and complexity that would otherwise be impossible. The deep blue of the background allows the whites and inked detail of the fabric to stand out, while also lending the piece a sense of space and tranquility. The fabric is captured with microscopic attention to its features and aspect and both the painting and the object depicted are clearly labours of great love and patience. There is a sense of tradition to the piece; a localized skill, knowledge and appreciation of beautiful objects passed down and treasured by generations.
Australian-born Virginia Ryan Izzo has lived and traveled all over the world. She studied at the National Art School in Canberra, Australia, and graduated in 1979 before moving to Scotland, where she studied Art Therapy at Queen Margaret's College in Edinburgh and graduated in 1994.Virginia works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture and photography. She currently divides her time between Italy and Ivory Coast in West Africa and was co-founder and director of the Foundation for Contemporary Art in Ghana until 2007. She has recently set up the NGO 'Make Art Not War' which seeks to use creativity and art to assist in peace-building and reconciliation.