"In my art and design I use a visual language of shape, form and line to create a composition that exists as a reflection of my thoughts, my feelings and myself."
– Holly Ryan
Holly Ryan has always been inspired by artists and sculptors. She counts Modernist Barbara Hepworth, abstract artist Jean Arp and iconic American sculptor Richard Serra among her foremost influences. And she is always returning to the multifaceted work of Pablo Picasso, who also enjoyed an impressive career in sculpting.
So when Holly Ryan first started sculpting, it began as a natural extension of her creative practice with jewellery – and a way for her to display those pieces as part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. Picking up the chisel to hand-carve abstract faces and the expressive elegance of the female form, Holly describes sculpting as akin to making jewellery – just on a much larger scale.
Both Holly Ryan’s jewellery and her sculptures are handmade. Both are inspired by the canon of art history. And both reflect her passion for sustainability, incorporating recycled or found materials into the finished product. Almost a decade into her jewellery making practice and a few years into sculpting, Holly says that the two creative practices continually inform one another.
Holly Ryan’s jewellery designs have always been art-driven and sculptural. Take her signature Picasso Necklace for example, the Arp Ring, Hepworth Necklace and Serra sunglasses. But now this connection has grown even stronger, with Holly crafting items of jewellery that are based on her own sculptures. Like the Jerico Necklace for instance, which was inspired by a sculpture Holly made of her friend and gallerist Jerico Tracy.
Effortlessly intertwined, Holly Ryan’s jewellery designs and her sculptures form part of an ever-evolving artistic process that is grounded in the principles of sustainability, hand craftsmanship and organic minimalism.