Observing nature and focusing on recreating the natural beauty of the world is a lovely challenge. Every tree has a story, just like all of us.
Massachusetts-based artist Ryan Kelley captures the breath of life with his intricate small-scale nature sculptures. Wound metal wire sprouts from a stone base, portraying all the movement and detail of a real tree. Each wire tree is delicately arranged to capture a moment in time, whether in the middle of a strong wind, lazily soaking up the sun’s rays, or dormant in the dead of winter. Kelley brings motion and wispiness to solid materials, creatively reimagining the natural world.
Kelley is fully self-taught. He began sculpting with wire in high school as a way to pass time during study period. These sculptures, which started off as gifts for friends, soon became highly-sought commissioned works. He realized years later that the meditative and mathematical aspects of his work were helping build self-confidence and purpose. Nature is clearly a huge inspiration to Kelley, who grew up appreciating the trees of Byfield, MA. He claims that every tree has a story: why it grew a certain way, what forces of nature it had to overcome, and what caused it to die. His sculptures are custom; the stone bases are often sourced from his clients and end up informing the color of wire he works with. This wire, hundreds of feet of it, is bent and twisted to mold the leaves, branches, and trunks of his trees. The medium, simultaneously sturdy and flexible, echoes the nature of the tree: rooted but susceptible to destruction.
Kelley has received numerous awards for his work. He has served on the Newburyport Association of Art since 2013 and teaches privately and in schools. His work can be found in both private and corporate collections. Kelley continues to work out of Byfield, MA.