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Molly Ryan is a textile artist, researcher, and educator focused on understanding people's relationships with textiles through practice-led research. A commitment to preserving the natural environment and reducing waste governs her creative and entrepreneurial practices. Molly exploits the creative potential of materials through experimental and innovative textile processes. 

Molly directs a depth of knowledge into her studio practice, her research and technical skills honed over the course of her studies, completing a Master of Research (Fine Arts) in 2023 and a Bachelor of Arts (Fashion) in 2020. Molly is a Casual Academic and Technician in art and design learning areas at Curtin University. Molly is also a Director of Fibre Economy, a social enterprise she co-founded in 2020, that tackles the textile waste crisis. 

For a full list of experience, please see Molly's CV

Artist Statement

"My hands have been busy for as long as I can remember. I have extracted colour from plants to dye cloth and hand-felted wool since my early teens. I relish the ability to think through materials and tactile processes. Tertiary education has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to articulate the importance of material thinking, the relationship between practice and theory. I suspect I will always be a student; my hands, materials, processes, and the world around me, the teacher. Forever overwhelmed and curious about the possibility of ‘what if’, I continue to explore the significance of tactile knowledge, studio inquiry, incremental innovations, and the manipulation of cloth and fibres in my practice. I am eternally grateful to have the opportunity to dive to such deep depths of making and thinking.


Lace has been central to my textile practice since 2019. Although I’m only at the start of my journey with lace, a material broadly understood as a ‘pattern of holes,’ the scope for interpretation and recreation is endless. My research currently pursues the intrigue I have for three poignant laces textiles from my ancestry. Here, I use textiles and textile processes as a form of dialogue to examine the lived experience of these ancestral laces, bringing lace into a contemporary space to allow it to speak in a language that heralds its significance now and in the future.


Sustainability is inherent to my practice; I contextualise this by using post-consumer materials, analogue production methods, natural fibres and windfallen flora and organic kitchen waste to dye and print cloth. The inherent vulnerabilities of raw materials, the challenge of transforming waste into something meaningful, my fascination with lace, and the relational materiality1 of cloth have continued to sustain my practice for years."

(Molly Ryan, 2022)


1. Relational materiality defined by John Law and Anne Marie Mol (1996, 276) as "connections between people become embedded in physical things."

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