Ryan’s work started gaining attention following her debut show at London’s Josh Lilley in 2016. Here, she exhibited her signature mammoth sized grapes, which hang heavy as lead from their plinths. The grapes are bound together with heavy concrete shackles giving her work a political element. Also on show was ‘Pearl’, a collection of bowling balls or “pearls” linked together to form what looks like an oversized necklace.
Bowling balls also featured in Ryan’s 2017 New York exhibition at the Arsenal Contemporary; ‘Pink Hook Iron Eyes’. Her manipulation of weight had, by this point, progressed and become more refined. Cast iron pods holding clusters of grape-shaped jewels hung in the middle of the room. Snaking around the corner was a string of black bowling balls that looked as if they had been strewn on the floor in a hurry. Through her innovative handling of form, Ryan appears to usurp gravity, making dense and heavy materials seem weightless.