Ryan Kough: UNDER PRESSURE | a participatory experimental art installation

Abstract layered multimedia art piece.

UNDER PRESSURE centers on the abandonment of normalcy, reimagining new perspectives, and embracing new forms of both being and making.

February–August 2024 | Opening Reception: 02/15 | 5-8 PM

What happens when we are required to accept new circumstances and environments, fully embracing disruption and grief in the form it arrives and reverberates? For those that have been unfortunate to survive a near-death experience only to return living in liminal space, finding meaning in creating new work is imperative when the act of making feels inconsequential. Rooted in the disruptive ebbs and flows of day to day life, Under Pressure centers on the abandonment of normalcy, reimagining new perspectives, and embracing new forms of both being and making. Through the lens of connectedness, the application of gentle pressure serves as exploration to find creative chaos and intention while creating new meaning through a collaboration between compression and paper.

In honoring the power of creativity and community, this installation brings together work facilitated through non-prescriptive ways of making, unfastened from expectations and polished outcomes. By collecting and incorporating overlooked byproducts of our consumeristic world, new meaning is created through graphic configuration. Reframing artistic expression as a mental health outlet, slow creative practices encourage decentering from daily tasks to bring involuntary joy and therapeutic creative relief. The outcomes are a series of captured daydreams showcasing the creative mind in physical format.

Ryan Kough is a neurodivergent artist, experimental letterpress printmaker, and design educator who focuses on participatory community-driven social design initiatives. She facilitates spaces where participants can play through artistic experimentation and meditative processes with intentional compassion and empathy toward positive creative outlets for those participating. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Graphic Design and an MFA in Visual Communications Design from Purdue University, her current academic research focuses on designing a sense of community among neurodiverse and neurotypical students in academia.