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.
My sculptures are primarily created through the process of needle felting. There is a comfort that is embedded in the nostalgic material. Needle felting is done by compressing raw wool with a barbed needle into a form: Every area is stabbed hundreds of times with a single needle until the desired density is formed. This medium allows me to sculpt works within a surreal space that is both disarming and inviting.
My figures are animal based, however the pieces are about people. The animals are anthropomorphized to reflect the way we as humans interact with each other and ourselves as we navigate the world.
Ryan Lytle (1987) is a Newport News based artist from the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. He earned a B.A. in Studio Art from Christopher Newport University and his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He currently is interested in the process of needle-felting and how the medium has the ability to provide a nostalgic comfort reminiscent of his extensive childhood stuffed animal collection. He draws inspirations for his work from mythologies, existing animal archetypes, as well as nature documentaries and observation.