Debbie is an arts practitioner who works in a range of creative mediums, such as mosaics and sculpture. Often making artwork that explores or celebrates the multiplicity of the natural world. Debbie also has extensive experience as a project manager and is able to lead a wide range of projects in varying contexts.
Debbie Ryan is a North West based creative who originally studied fine art at Liverpool John Moores University. In 2020 Debbie also completed her post-graduate masters in art, festivals and cultural management at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Debbie is based in her hometown of Liverpool, Merseyside.
Debbie creates artwork for public and private settings and the materials used aim to reflect the vibrancy of nature and multiplicty of the natural world. Often through the use of bold colour palettes and uniquely detailed mosaic forms. Debbie uses a variety of different mediums, such as mosaic, glass, clay, smalti, ceramics or stone. When possible, sourcing materials locally and making work that is mindful of issues connected to sustainability. Debbie believes that working in this way is important for the benefit of future generations and our planet, which we all share. Therefore, often in her creative approaches or artistic processes, there is an integration of donated items, elements of recycling, up-cycling or even repurposing within her creative practice or projects. Consequently, as a result of this endevour and way of working, many hundreds of items are saved from a destiny of going to landfill each year.
Debbie has won awards for her mosaics, such as at an international mosaic exhibition in Exeter at the Opus Mosaic Gallery. Her award winning mosaic 'Gaia' was voted as 'Best Mosaic (People’s Choice)' by the exhibition visitors. This piece addressed the exhibition brief of responding to themes of plant biodiversity and eroded natural habitats or extinct flora species.
Debbie has worked on a range of projects, her most recent project was a sculpture called ‘Clyde’ which was created for as a temporary art installation in Hamilton, Scotland. This was part of a large-scale public art sculpture event called 'Go Stampede'. The public art sculpture ‘Clyde’ raised over £6,600 for Glasgow Children’s Hospital when sold during a charity auction event.
Another sculpture created by Debbie was ‘Discovery’ which was commissioned for the Oor Wullie public art trail in Dundee, Scotland during 2016. The sculpture raised over £11,000 for a charity called the Archie Foundation, when it featured in a charity sculpture auction.
Other recent projects include a public sculpture trail created and designed in collaboration with the town of Inverbervie, on the east coast of Scotland. One of the pieces that Debbie made for the trail was a feature for a community garden called 'The voyage of life', this garden was made by local volunteers from the voluntary group Brighter Bervie. The garden was featured on the BBC 2 programme Beechgrove Garden.
Other projects that Debbie has undertook include sculptures displayed at the World Expo in Shanghai, China. A large mosaic mural project, 8 metre by 4 metre in size, and collaborative artworks made with rural communities in Muriwai, New Zealand.
In addition to China, Debbie has also exhibited internationally in Auckland, New Zealand aswell as in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee in Scotland. In various craft centres in Wales and in York, Manchester, Exeter and in her hometown of Liverpool. Here, Debbie developed her experience of co-ordinating group studio exhibitions and cultural events. As well as featuring as an exhibiting artist herself, at several of the city's international art event; the Liverpool Biennial.
Debbie has led art projects and made work for a variety of private collectors. Some of Debbie’s clients include: the NHS, National Museums Liverpool, Knowsley Council, Wigan Council, Brighter Bervie, Wild in Art, Marie Curie, Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Vision and Earthskin Muriwai in New Zealand.
Debbie welcomes commissions or project enquiries, and is a professional member of BAMM (British Association for Modern Mosaics).
MA Art, Festivals and Cultural Management, Queen Margaret University, 2016-2020
BA (Hons) Fine Art, John Moores University and Wirral Met College, 1999-2002
Foundation in Art and Design, The City of Liverpool Community College, 1998-1999
Scottish Research Council Postgraduate Award to study MA Art, Festivals and Cultural Management
'Best Mosaic (People's Choice)' Award at the 'International Mosaic' exhibition, Opus Mosaic, Exeter
New Entrepreneur Scholarship Award, Liverpool Commerce and Manchester Met University
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Mosaiques en Nord, International Mosaic Biennial, Centre Socio Educatif, Hazebrouk, France
Festival Exhibition, Dancing Light Gallery, West Linton, Scotland
Open Studios Trail, Biggar Corn Exchange, Biggar, Scotland
Maggies Penguin Parade, Dundee, Scotland
Low Parks Museum, Go Stampede, Hamilton Scotland
Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sziget Festival, Budapest, Hungary
Camperdown Country Park, Oor Wullie Sculpture Trail, Dundee, Scotland
Parade Artists, WASPS Hanson Street Artist Studios and Gallery, Glasgow
The Archivist (Collaborative Installation) Environmental Arts Festival, Dumfries, Scotland
British Creativity, British Consulate, Auckland, New Zealand
World Expo, Liverpool Pavilion, Shanghai, China
Public Art is… Huyton Gallery, Knowsley
Autumn Show, Saltbox Gallery, York
Superlambananas, St. Georges Hall, Liverpool
Liverpool Biennial, Redwire Art Studio Gallery, Liverpool
International Mosaic Exhibition, Opus Gallery, Exeter
Collection 08, Liverpool Airport, Liverpool
Sefton Open, Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport
New Graduates, Black Sheep Gallery, Hawarden
University Degree Show, Williamson Gallery, Birkenhead
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Open Studios Trail, Coulter, Biggar, Scotland
Growth, Earthskin Gallery, Earthskin Muriwai, New Zealand
Mosaic Wonderland, World of Glass, Public Gallery, St. Helens
To Infinity and Beyond, Novas Gallery, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
Tactile, Norton Priory Museum, Runcorn
Lewis Store Windows Liverpool, Merseyside
Southport Arts Centre, Southport
Commissioned artworks in corporate and private collections across the UK and also, internationally:
South Lanarkshire council, Hamilton, Scotland
Designer and Fabricator of sculpture for public art trail in Dundee. Raised over £6,600 for charity.
'Marmalade (Sticky Feet) Sculpture'
Mackays, Dundee, Scotland
Designer and Fabricator of sculpture for public art trail in Dundee. Raised over £7,500 for charity.
'Inverbervie Coat of Arms and Flower wall'
Brighter Bervie, Inverbervie, Scotland
Lead Artist for Brighter Bervie public art trail: Sculpture was a focal point in the dry-stone wall feature.
'Queenie (Guardian of the Bridges) Sculpture'
Queensferry Ambition, South Queensferry, Scotland
Lead Artist and Project Manager for overall artistic vision, development of community programme and educational project with nine local schools, engaging with over seven hundred participants.
'Voyage of Life Sculpture'
Bervie Parish Church, Inverbervie, Scotland
Lead Artist for Brighter Bervie public art trail: Three feature commissions integrating community engagement programme, this sculpture was a focal point in the community garden.
Oor Wullie Sculpture Trail, Dundee, Scotland
commissioned to create a mosaic sculpture by King Foods Ltd. Designer and Fabricator of sculpture for public art trail in Dundee. The sculpture raised over £11,000 when sold at a charity auction event.
'Bervie Crown Sculpture'
Brighter Bervie, Bervie Beach, Scotland
Lead Artist for Brighter Bervie public art trail: Three feature commissions integrating community engagement programme, public consultation and educational programme with Bervie Primary School.
Earthskin Muriwai, Muriwai, New Zealand
Site-specific sculpture commission made during artist residency at the site.
'Physiotherapy Centre Mosaics'
Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool
Main Artist for new build at the hospital, led overall artistic vision, development of two feature commissions made in collaboration with staff for the departmental reception and sub-wait areas.
'NHRC Sculpture and Wall Murals'
North Huyton Resource Centre, Liverpool
Commissioned by Collage Marketing to create artwork for the new community hub site. Undertook artist residency, large sculptural commission, research project and creative community workshops.
'Dream, Believe, Acheive Mural'
Knowsley Park School, Prescot
New build artwork commission in the form of an atrium mosaic mural (8m x 4m in size ) made in response to local history archives and in collaboration with pupils and local resident groups.
All Saints Catholic Primary School, Safe Productions, Bootle
Lead Artist for commission managed by Safe Productions. Led overall artistic vision, development of commission, education and community engagement activity.
'Peace Garden Murals'
HMP Altcourse, Liverpool
Two large-scale feature commissions for exterior walls of healthcare building. Working in collaboration with staff and inmates to create mosaic murals responding to themes of world peace and culture.
'Liverpool Vision Sculpture'
Queens Square, Liverpool
Commissioned by Liverpool Business Chamber and Liverpool City council, Liverpool to create a temporary mosaic sculpture commission for a temporary public art trail.
'Our Place Sculpture'
Higher Folds Estate, Leigh.
Commissioned by Wigan Council Arts Service to create community mosaic coat of arms sculpture.
World Expo, Shanghai, China
Commissioned by Wild in Art to create a mosaic sculpture celebrating Liverpool architecture.
Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester
Series of mosaic panels created with museum visitors at the education centre.
'Little Blue Penguin Sculpture'
St. Pauls Square, Liverpool
Commissioned by Liverpool City Council to create a large mosaic sculpture for ‘A Winter’s Tale’, which was a temporary public art sculpture trail event held in the city.
'Blueberry Park Sculpture'
Blueberry Park Primary School, Huyton
Led a mosaic sculpture project with all pupils at Blueberry Park Primary School. Sculpture project commissioned by Berrybridge Housing.
Helena Project, Liverpool
Led a short term creative educational programme with a group of young people with complex behavioural needs working on individual and group mosaics.
Earthskin Muriwai, Muriwai, New Zealand
Art and Design Tutor for art organisation during artist residency. Delivered a temporary educational programme of creative learning events with rural communities based in the area of Muriwai.
Liverpool Youth Inclusion, Liverpool
Commissioned to design and lead a six week creative educational programme with thirty young people attending a youth inclusion programme.
Halewood Ranger Centre, Liverpool
Commissioned to create an outdoor mosaic trail with young people and local walking groups.
St. Columba’s Primary School, Huyton
Commissioned to create a wall based mosaic mural with entire school to for new sports hall. Additionally, led a series of creative workshops with classes as part of an art week.
Earthskin Muriwai, Muriwai, New Zealand
World Expo Museum, Shanghai, China
Museum of Science and Industry
'Barnardo's Young Carers Mosaic Mural'
Museum of Liverpool Life
'Hope Always Rises - Youth Group Mosaic'
Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool
TELEVISION, RADIO AND INTERNET
'Beechgrove Garden' (BBC2 Scotland - 21/08/2015) Programme featuring Debbie's work
Earthskin Muriwai (2012 archive) - Web article mentioning Debbie's work
Art in Liverpool (18/05/2010) - Article featuring exhibition work by Debbie
BBC Local guide (16/03/2010) - Webpage mentioning Debbie's work
Liverpool Airport (October 2008) Web article mentioning Debbie's work
Biggar Little Festival (October 2018) - Features details about exhibition artwork by Debbie
Mearns Leader (18/05/2017) Newspaper article mentioning Debbie's work
Linlithgow Gazette (05/05/2017) Newspaper article featuring a public art piece by Debbie
The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire - 24/11/2014) Newspaper article featuring Debbie's work
World of Glass (Exhibition Programme 2010) Details of an exhibition of Debbie's work
Your Move (17/04/2009) - Two page interview with Debbie (p.60-61)
Liverpool Echo (16/08/2008) Newspaper article featuring a public art piece by Debbie
Nerve Magazine (Issue 10 - Spring 2007) Magazine article featuring Debbie's work