Lyla Rye

Studio Art (Sculpture)
visual artist (B.F.A. York University, M.F.A. San Francisco Art Institute)

Outline of Research

My work explores the perception of space by creating installations that draw the viewer into subtly illogical situations. My goal is to throw the viewer slightly off balance — optically, physically and psychologically. By doing so, I create a situation where subliminal assumptions about space can surface and be examined.

In the last five years, I have experimented with the interaction of architectural and illusory space in videos of a dollhouse. This model home becomes a fantasy space through play. Projected at an architectural scale, it transforms into a virtual space. I explore various projection strategies to confound one’s perception by blurring the boundaries between reality and illusion.

I am now beginning a series of 3-D animations investigating playground structures. These structures are a synthesis of utopian architecture, abstract sculpture and engineering. I continue to fracture the video image across space to create an architecture of fantasy that exists in the imagination as much as in reality.


Lyla Rye is an installation artist who is based in Toronto. She began her studies in architecture, then received a BFA from York University, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Rye’s work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in San Francisco, New York, Adelaide, Paris, and Berlin. She has work in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, York University, Cadillac Fairview Corporation and Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Rye recently created a permanent installation as part of Harbourfront’s Art Gallery’s Artist Garden Series.

Approach to Teaching

In teaching, my goal is to guide students find an individual approach to the creative process. I encourage the development of a practice that is personally relevant but also situates itself in relation to the history of art and contemporary thought. I aim to help students develop a way of working that feeds and builds upon itself to become a self-sustaining artistic practice.

I try to balance the teaching of conceptual, technical, formal and analytic ability. I focus on an approach based in experimentation with materials and process which allows concepts to develop naturally. I aim to give students exposure to a broad range of approaches to making and thinking about sculpture and installation. I challenge students to push their ideas further by directing them to appropriate artists and giving concrete examples of ways to extend their thinking, while expecting them to develop individual solutions. I encourage a wide range of responses and approaches.

I approach teaching in a manner similar to that of art - with an enthusiasm for it as a process of discovery and a willingness to adapt to the needs of the particular class, project or individual. This sense of adventure and enthusiasm, as much as anything else, is something I hope to convey.

For more on Lyla Rye's activities see:

Lyla Rye's Website