Jeweller, sculptor and RUSSH favourite Holly Ryan has just opened the doors to her third solo sculpture show at Jerico Contemporary Gallery. Titled On Self Respect, the exhibition melds Holly’s creative realms, along with the introduction of beautiful new materials and techniques.
“2020 has been a year of emotional turmoil globally, so this body of work has functioned as a form of radical self-exploration for me personally. I am constantly revisiting notions of female beauty in the modern world. And my wabi-sabi aesthetic lends itself really organically to abstract female forms.”
Known for her hand-carved sculptures that pay homage to the female form, the new series sees Holly incorporate bronze for the first time – marrying the artist’s longstanding practice as a goldsmith and her artistic practice as a sculptor. She continues, “There is something quite beautiful about the process of working with bronze, because it forces you to slow down and enjoy the lengthy and physical process of bringing these pieces to life.”
As the core element of the exhibition, the enticing bronze is rendered in high shine as well as textured finishes. The golden appeal of this metal is then complemented by the warmth of natural timber, specifically recycled hardwoods, some of which have a shou sugi ban finish. Shou sugi ban describes the Japanese art of preserving and finishing wood using fire, forming a charred and dramatic effect.
“For this exhibition I have explored the idea of sculpture as a sacred object,” Holly says. “The totemic nature of these sculptural forms is not so dissimilar from the talismans I create in my jewellery practice. These works are just future heirlooms for the home, rather than the body.”
On Self Respect opened at Jerico Contemporary on December 3, along with an evening Artist Talk on Thursday December 10, where Holly Ryan will be discussing her inspirations and process.
Article written by Natalie Petrevski for Russh Magazine