Ryan Arnott

About the Artist

Even in his elementary school days Ryan Arnott received acclaim for his art, and he realized at that young age he wanted to be an artist.  He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, but for over thirty years he has lived and worked in Regina, Saskatchewan.  He graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1975 and since that time he has made art and displayed his work not only in Saskatchewan, but across Canada, the United States, and Australia.

Arnott stated in an interview with writer Jackie Lay, “[i]t is important to trust your own instincts.  Some of the simplest things can make interesting art.” (Lay, 2003)  Arnott seeks out familiar  domesticRemaining much at home; devoted to home duties or pleasures; as, a domestic man or woman.  Living in or near human habitations; domesticated; tame as distinguished from wild; as, domestic animals.  Made in one's own house, nation, or country; as, domestic manufactures, wines, etc.  One who lives in the family of an other, as hired household assistant; a house servant. Articles of home manufacture, especially cotton goods.  (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  objects that are often overlooked by others and gives them importance.  He often creates a new twist or meaning for these small objects by removing them from their typical everyday situations.  This encourages the viewer to think differently (that is, in a new way) about the object.

Another of Arnott’s long-standing characteristics is his use of words and word-play in his works.  In one of his early works, he placed an old bed outside on a hillside and waited for it to be covered with a Blanket of Snow.  He then photographed the image and titled the work.  This work is only one example of how Arnott captures his audience’s attention with his sense of humour and a playful approach to art-making, and then encourages reflection on the underlying meaning or driving force that was behind the creation of his works.

In order to communicate particular ideas for an artistic project, Arnott will work as a sculptor,  installationAn art work specially designed to fit in or to make use of a specific type of space. It usually consists of more than one element and relates to the space in which it is displayed.  artist, photographer, painter, draftsman, printmaker, or any combination of the above.  He is always open to learning new techniques and experimenting with new ways of working, and he seeks perfection in everything he undertakes.

Arnott often works in small formats.  An exhibition of his work titled smALL Matters, was selected to tour the province’s schools as part of the 1989 MacKenzie Art Gallery Outreach Program.


Brush Flowers and Letter Shakers
Drawings of His Conceptual Art
Hammer Broom
The Sense of Awe at the World Around Us
Untitled (Egg Beater-Screwdriver #2)
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning