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Janita Ryan
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Gnome, 2021

Mixed media

Image courtesy of Janita Ryan

Whilst garden gnomes are banned from the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, they are far from banned in the St Kilda VegOut Community Gardens. In 2019, Janita Ryan conducted a census of the incumbent VegOut Gnomes, unearthing and documenting various stressors within their community, not least of which, they are all male. 


No-one ever seems to talk about this. Ryan ponders, why are only male spirits authorised to mediate for a good harvest from the female power that is Mother Nature? In a recent series of Gnome portraits she highlights the tensions, stressors and aberrant behaviour occurring within the gnomes population.

Janita Ryan is a visual artist who lives and works in St Kilda. Janita creates highly detailed realistic portrayals of the artificial and contrived. She houses her paintings in ornate frames, embellishing them with figurines, garlands and bud lights further adding to the hyper-experience of a constructed reality. In recent years two major themes have dominated Ryan’s practice, imaging the anthropocene and examining the agency of women.

Born in Melbourne, she has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (honours) from VCA, Melbourne. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia. Her work is in the University of Melbourne collection as well as in numerous private collections.

For more information about Janita Ryan visit

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