Friday, July 24, 2009

Ajean Lee Ryan: Drawing with Materials

Ajean Lee Ryan writes about the dialogue between materials and meanings. More can be seen on her work @

My work has always been about the every day epiphanies and challenges of my life. Much of it deals with misconceptions of femininity and the role of the domesticated woman. I use materials found in domestic handicrafts in my drawings simply because I am drawn to them. I love words such as "trims" and "notions"; "bits" and "baubles". There is rich material in the skeins of yarn that is able to be merged within the lines of a drawing pencil. The combination of frilly materials with traditional drawing materials allows for a conversation of sorts on the surface of the paper. This dialogue of materials and meanings is what I love the most about the work. I am currently working on a series of large scale drawings and installations based loosely on botanical books and Godey's Lady's Book from the 1850s.
My most recent body of work involves notions of instability and structure within the framework of a home. Taking into consideration the economic struggles of our current global economy and more specifically the drastic fall of the housing market, I felt compelled to address these issues in my recent body of work. Having built my home in Santa Fe that I am no longer living in and yet am not able to sell, I feel first hand and very poignantly the complexities and dramas associated with the home and what it means to us as individuals as well as its larger collective meaning.
The building of a home, the construction of layers of papers and the meticulousness of the thread-work all inspire me right now.

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