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The Paintings and Vision of Cassundra Ryan – Part 1

Cassundra Ryan

The Paintings of Cassundra Ryan

~ Love is All there Is~

Born in 1969, to an Irish Father and Aboriginal mother on King Island; I am of Bunurong tribe from Victoria. I’m strongly connected to the Dreamtime of my people and as a lot of our stories to the land have been lost since the arrival of white man to Australia, I like painting the visual stories of what intuitively comes through for me in our new age, while drawing on the techniques of my ancestry.

Living in Perth, Western Australia and mother of 4, till now I’ve spent 20 years as a hobby artist. To follow my passion, in 2012, I turned to painting full time.

I love creating and expressing through all creative channels, whether it’s writing, painting, sand art, sculpting, dancing. I meditate and dance daily, to unwind and to get out of my head and to connect to our creator. I live my life full of wonder and being present in the now. I‘m a passionate believer that there are no failures in life, only lessons to be learned and shared. My spiritual evolution holds high priority in my life, and it goes hand in hand with accessing my creative ability.

I started painting in 1996, and I successfully completed my Diploma in Aboriginal Art and Design in 1998. Painting is my passion. It gives me the freedom and platform to express my feelings, desires and dreams, which connects me to my higher self, and acts as a catalyst for my innate dreaming heritage. It is a medium through which to express my love for all that is, to inspire or impact others in a positive way through the painting itself and through unique stories attached to each painting.

Acrylic on canvas is my favoured medium and my style ranges from Traditional Aboriginal to Contemporary Aboriginal with European and Tantric influences. I like to produce a harmonious blending of colours, designs and symbols which amalgamate the vibrations of the body, spirit and mind. I focus on giving peace through the effect of colours. Painting from my dreaming evokes a state of awareness in the perceiver through both my art works and my stories.

Since 1997 I have entered numerous exhibitions in Northern Western Australia and I’m grateful to have won several awards in categories and acquisitions, and to have had all of my exhibited works purchased. I have continually been engaged in creating new pieces of art, and updating and experimenting with my skills as a visual artist. I’m looking forward to having a Solo Exhibition in the near future.

I hope that you can take something from my art that may inspire and fill your soul with warm, delicious love.
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ PEACE AND HAPPINESS BE WITH YOU ALL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Namaste

For more details about Cassundra and her art works, you are welcome to contact her at punaguna@iinet.net.au

The Paintings

Sea Turtles Nesting – On canvas 36×48”

This painting is about the Amazing Journey of female turtles from the beach where they were born, to return there years later to deposit her own eggs and fulfill her life’s mission

Sea Turtles Nesting

Sea Turtles Nesting

Like the journey that the nesting turtle makes to lay its eggs in the sand, I faced many obstacles in my own life, making it ridiculously long and difficult to complete this art work. For a long time I didn’t like painting it, being every time I would start to work on it, something extremely testing in my personal life came up for me, that wouldn’t allow me to work on it. I was beginning to think that I was not meant to be painting it.

After so many months of this cycle, I started questioning myself, “Why is this simple design of a painting so long and arduous to paint, and what’s with all the obstacles keeping me from painting it?” It dawned on me. I’m questioning my own difficult journey of trying to paint a story about the difficult journey of Sea Turtles. At that moment I started to appreciate my connection and relationship to the painting on a whole new level. The painting is also a representation of the challenges I was facing in my own life, all in the time span it was taking to complete it. I instantly and totally gained love for my painting and it gave me a deeper respect and love for the turtle and their resiliency and keen survival skills. I finished the painting less than 2 days later.

The Ancient Symbolism of The Turtle as our Totem Animal

The Turtle is the symbol of the Primal Mother -Nurturer, protector, Mother Energy, Mother Earth. The Turtle represents creation, endurance, strength, stability, longevity, fertility, and innocence.
Turtle’s medicine includes connection with Great Spirit, journeys of discovery, feminine strength, power to heal female diseases, inspiration, protecting oneself and others, self-reliance, tenacity and patience. By virtue of its slow movements, turtles have been deemed patient creatures. It is as if, on some level, turtle knows it has all the time in the world. Turtle medicine can teach new perceptions about time and our relationship with it.

Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth. In Mother Earth is all that we need. She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us, as long as we do the same for her. For that to happen, we must slow down and heighten our sensibilities. We must see the connection to all things. Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the Earth.

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Finding Our Way Home – On canvas 20×30”

This painting is about the Stolen Generation.
Churches and the Government thought it was the right thing to take Aboriginal children from their families and to assimilate them into white Australia, to be punished for being black and never seeing their families again
It was a very sad time in our history and the effects are still being felt to this day as many of our people are still suffering and are still trying to find their way home, back to their families, their own self and their Dreaming
The large middle circle represents our Homeland
The top circle represents the Institutions
The bottom circle represents our final place of ‘no -self control”
Before we break free and make a stand for our own rights
The hues of the background represent:
Aboriginal communities, White-man’s communities,
The bloodshed of our people, The Industrial areas of our land,
The land that would come under Native Title
And the Sacred Land of our people
The poem below relates to this picture.

Finding Our Way Home

Finding Our Way Home

A baby unaware
Of a premeditated act of crime
To be taken from our mothers
To have seen them for the last time

Taking us from our Homeland
Identities stolen from all
Institutionalised for being black
Forced to live lonely and withdrawn

Being robbed of our families and culture
Where we were wanted and safe
A deep need to go home
Only to be moved to another place

At the mercy of those who possessed us
We are helpless, confused and afraid
Yet we continue our new life’s journey
As we are dispersed, when we come of age

Some of us were put to work
A domestic, labourer or farmhand
Some are left walking the streets
Still yearning for their Homelands

We cannot escape from these unforgivable events
They may haunt us most of our days
But as we get older, we question our rights
And find records that show us the way
I’m now back with my roots
After slowly piecing together my puzzle
Of Who I am and where I come from
My Dreaming and my Aboriginal Mother

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Creative Goddess – On canvas 24×30”

If you were born, you are an artist.
If you are a woman, you are a Goddess.

Creative Goddess

Creative Goddess

It’s about me creating
It shows the colours of my soul
Reminding me what an amazing Goddess I am
I delight in a creative life
In all my moments I am available to existence, so for me there is no boredom
Life is infinite delight.
I embody being a Divine Feminine Goddess by showing up as a healthy role model, leader, healer, mother, love and an inspiration to all I share energy with
~
The large triangle represents my daughter
The three smaller black triangles represent my three sons
The snakes represent the cyclic nature of life and fertility
The Crescent Moon is linked with the Creative Power of the Mother Goddess
The Sun is linked to the Masculine Energy of the Sun God
Both crescents are representative of creation
The circle symbolizes the eternal cyclic nature of life. As it touches each point of the Triangle, it demonstrates the connectedness of Spirit, Physical and Mind. A symbol of the holistic relationship between Human Spirituality and the Physical Universe

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Om Series – 3 – On canvas 18×24”

Om (also spelled Aum) is a Hindu sacred sound that is considered the greatest of all mantras.
The syllable Om is composed of the three sounds a-u-m (in Sanskrit, the vowels a and u combine to become o) and the symbol’s threefold nature is central to its meaning. It represents several important triads:
•the three worlds – earth, atmosphere, and heaven
•the three major Hindu gods – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva
•the three sacred Vedic scriptures – Rg, Yajur, and Sama
Thus Om mystically embodies the essence of the entire universe. This meaning is further deepened by the Indian philosophical belief that God first created sound and the universe arose from it. As the most sacred sound, Om is the root of the universe and everything that exists and it continues to hold everything together.

Om Series 3

Om Series 3

Meditation

I have designed this painting as part of a 3D interactive Meditation exercise making the sacred Aum sound as you look into the painting Om Series No-3. This exercise has a centering and balancing effect on your body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Focus on the centre of the painting. Keep your focus on the painting’s centre the entire time you are chanting the Aum sound and doing the exercise.
Stand or sit comfortably, arms by your side with your hands facing up so as to receive and give to the Universe. Inhale gently, expanding into your diaphragm as you breathe. Open your mouth fully as you inhale.
Begin to make the ‘A’ sound as you breathe out very slowly, and with your arms out, embrace the expanding energy of the universe.
As you transition to the ‘U’ sound, bring your hands in front of you, visualize and feel the sound of the energy manifest from the painting and being absorbed into your hands.
As you begin to sound ‘M’ bring your hands up to your Heart Chakra, palms facing your chest, resting your left hand on the back of your right hand, and absorb the energy of unity, consciousness and divine love into your heart centre.
Be aware of the peaceful bliss in the soundless silence that follows the sounding of Om
Repeat this meditation as many times as you wish.

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Going With the Flow – On canvas 20×30”

Land and Sea
Heaven and Earth
Waterholes connecting to rivers and flowing into the ‘Bigger System’
Like our lives, we are all at different stages of our Spirituality,
Still we all are flowing to the same “bigger system’

Going With the Flow

Going With the Flow

My painting represents Equality, differing Cultures, different Beginnings
(The different colours of the 6 waterholes)
But maintaining an equilibrium within our own lives
(The flowing into the rivers)
And within each other’s lives
(Flowing and emerging together into the Bigger River. The Dolphins represent our freedom of choice and non-attachment to material things and that we are essentially one of the same)
Reconciliation and loving each other unconditionally and leaving no Brother or Sister behind can only take us forward, together
Like the flowing waters of the streams into the river

For more details about Cassundra and her art works, you are welcome to contact her at punaguna@iinet.net.au
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If you’re an artist and you would like to be featured in this gallery, please contact us at Gia@evolutionezine.com

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15 Responses to “The Paintings and Vision of Cassundra Ryan – Part 1”

  1. Christine Cendrecourt says:

    Authentic original feminine and beautiful work!

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  2. Use of colours and movement combined with the story brings life to these wonderful images. IMPRESSIVE! Great images for personal drawing rooms AND corporate board rooms.

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  3. sonia murray says:

    I am incredibly proud of you and honoured you are my sister , your work is beautiful , it comes from your heart and soul , and this is what I admire , I do not have the words to describe how much I Love your work xxx

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  4. Vicki Matson-Green says:

    Hi Alex, Your sister, Sonia, posted the link to your webpage & I couldn’t resist after having seen your incredible painting ‘Meditation’ previously – that piece of artwork is so Spiritually strong and mystifying. It draws me in, as it is supposed to, and I have tried the charkra chant as directed in the story attached. I find it centering – it clears the baggage of everyday life and balances my Spirit. I also have Bunerong heritage (& related to you)and I am also palawa from Tasmania. Sonia & I have been in contact for some time and I think that she is such a centred, grounded, spiritual young woman and it seems that you are the same. Your artwork is inspirational, mystical, connecting, grounded in ancient spirtualism and culture whilst, at the same time, so connected to life as it is today. I too am an artist of palawa stories which I tell through our ancient crafts using shell, fibre & bull-kelp. Thank you so much for sharing your passion and bringing another dimension of understanding about Aboriginal ways of stroy-telling, reading our environment and recognising the spiritual connections between both but more than that for connecting me to my Bunerong culture. With much love & best wishes – Sonia’s Auntie Vicki xx

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  5. raghu says:

    Wow very IMPRESSIVE!gr8 work Love & Blessings ;-)

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  6. Cassundra - Alex -Ryan says:

    I’m so in love with all the beautiful responses. I’m so taken that my stories and paintings have touched and moved you all. Thankyou for your sharing, and Aunty Vicki your message is totally inspiring and it means alot to me that you’ve had such an amazing experience of my artworks and stories. I would love to know more about your ancient crafts story telling. I pray we meet one day soon.

    Much love and light to you and yours xxx

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  7. Leila says:

    Hi Cassandra, really lovely paintings. They each draw you in to their world and in a way teach you something about something you didn’t know about before. Thanks.

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  8. Ralph Stevens says:

    Cassundra, you are to be commended for your art and your prose. Your art and commentary expresses the deepest spiritual intent coming from your heart. I like your work-you are a master teacher of life, and it is a blessing that it is shared amongst many living in this world. Keep doing what you do, it works!

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  9. Monique says:

    Cassundra, I have been touched so… deeply by your work. I am visiting my son in Perth in April(from New Zealand), and am wondering – do you sell any of your paintings, or prints of them?? If so, how can I contact you?

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  10. teijahn says:

    Love your art Cassundra, beautiful. Thank you. Peace on you and yours

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  11. Cassundra - Alex -Ryan says:

    Hi Monique,
    I do sell my paintings and will be selling prints as well. You can reach me by email punaguna@iinet.net.au
    xx

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  12. The paintings are beautiful – natural and aboriginal. Very primitive but modern in structure. The colors are very aboriginal; they are Austronesian, such as what Filipinos use in their native crafts. I am from the Philippines. I resonate very closely with the colors and designs of CAssandra Ryan. They are native designs also of the Austronesians, where we, Filipinos, belong ethnically, and from whose lineage, Cassandra’s mother also belongs. The paintings are born in the Pacific islands..

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  13. Fran says:

    I loved the way you described your artwork with such feelings, it’s clear that something sacred is drawing you to express yourself so meaningfully. I enjoyed your spirit and your ability to share it with others.

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  14. Suzanne Maltman says:

    I love your work Cassundra…. it speaks to my heart and soul…especially your OM painting and Meditation. I wrote a major survey essay on Australian aboriginal art back as a visual arts undergrad taking an anthropology course. I enjoyed it the most of anything that I did in university.

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  15. beverly says:

    I LOVE your art.. it Definitely speaks to me! thank you for sharing.

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