This month I would like to introduce you to the work of felt artist Ryan Lytle. Ryan’s sculptures are big and bold, both in appearance and concept. He is inspired by animals, but they appear in his work as metaphors for human relationships and power dynamics. Check out some of my favorite examples below, accompanied by excerpts from his artist statement.
“Whether it is pets, in nature, films and cartoons, mythology, I have always been drawn to animals. As a kid I had an extensive stuffed animal collection. These fascinations of animal archetypes, images and myths have resurfaced as visual vocabulary in my work.”
“Recently I have been exploring the ideas of power and balance between the roles of predator and prey. The predators are often presented in compromising situations, while the prey is shown as communal and empowered. Specifically, I am interested in the way people in positions of power tend to respond to change with aggression. I am attempting to present these aspects through animal behavior to show these actions how I perceive them.”
Thanks as always for reading!
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What Technique Is This?
Needle Felting is the process of using a notched or “barbed” needle to compress layers of wool into denser felt that can be manipulated to create 3D sculptures. It is different to wet felting, which uses water to combine wool fibres, and these days there are a range of felting tools available that can enable you to make your own soft sculptures with ease!