EPHEMERAL, a project by Creative Collective at Hunting Brook Gardens


The secrets they keep by Lena Willryd
Bamboo culm cut in half, acrylic yarn, Rya technique, H300 x W 20 x D18 cm

A hard exterior may hide, but also protect, the softest most guarded part of our self.
Always look for the beauty that resides within…

Creative Collective has launched their new project “Ephemeral” at Hunting Brook Gardens in Blessington, Co Wicklow, in collaboration with horticultural expert Jimi Blake. All the artworks were made site-specific for this amazing garden. The exhibition will run for the months of June, July and August 2024.

Jimi Blake, the owner and creator of Hunting Brook Gardens

Small Things Like These


A group exhibition including almost 100 small works by 85 artists. The show opened on Thursday 30th of November, 2023 and continued until 22nd December, 2023 at LHQ Gallery, County Cork Library, Carrigrohane Road, Cork.

30th November 2023. Pictured: Angela Velázquez, Jen Donnery and Lena Willryd representing Creative Collective, with their collective piece “Small miracles” at Cork County Council’s LHQ Gallery launch of group exhibition ‘Small Things Like These’ with almost 100 works by 85 artists, craftspeople and designers on display.
Rya technique, DMC embroidery yarn,
approx. H 20 x W 20 x D 20 cm
Linnéa (2023)
Rya technique, DMC embroidery yarn,
approx. H 20 x W 20 x D 20 cm

n 1905 Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater published their book “Thought Forms” in which they affirm that our thoughts influence our life experience, and that these thoughts can also affect other people. They further mentioned that thoughts have shapes and colours. Their “thought form #8” is a pink cloud-like shape with the attribute “selfless affection”, like between mother and child. In ancient philosophies pink is also considered to have healing qualities relating to the heart chakra (love and emotions), which is one of seven energy centres in the body.

Flower essences can stimulate our ability to heal on all levels of our being simultaneously. They can subtly address imbalances on an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level. The essence of Linnea, also called Twin Flower, promotes compassion and love for oneself and others. It is a small flower with pink petals which is the regional flower of Småland, my home county in Sweden. Linnea was also my mother’s middle name.

Linnea is a homage to my mother “Elsa Ingrid Linnea” which brings together her “selfless affection” (unconditional love) towards me, her daughter, and my own emotional healing process after her passing. It consists of a malleable “rya” piece in the shape of Besant’s thought form #8 which is folded into a Linnea petal.

Agility Award 2023


This gallery contains 3 photos.

Thank you to the Arts Council Ireland for the funding. This will give me the opportunity to design and make an autism friendly rya wall hanging for the Edward Murphy Library at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

The Empty Chair of Beautiful Memories


Sculpture in Context 2023
The empty chair of beautiful memories (2023)
Acrylic yarn, rug backing, found object

In my current work I’m using a Scandinavian hand-sewn knotting technique called ‘rya’, taught to me by my mother when I was a child. After her passing I was drawn to include it in my practice. 
The empty chair speaks of loss and absence, but also of happy memories. The colours and shapes are inspired by the Linnéa flower. It’s the regional flower of the province in Sweden where I grew up, and also part of my mother’s name –  Elsa Ingrid Linnéa.  

Come to the wood for here is rest


Come to the wood for here is rest (2022)
220 x 180 cm, Rya technique, acrylic yarn on rug backing

Exhibited 1-4th February 2023 as part of group show “Connections” by Creative Collective at Fade Street Studios, Dublin 2.
Purchased by OPW for the state collection.

Photo credit: Sean Rushe and the artist

Posted in Rya

I only went out for a walk…


Acrylic yarn on rug backing, 30×30 cm (2022)

Part of Ranelagh Arts autumn exhibition “Cultural Natures” 17th Sep – 14th Oct 2022.

I only went out for a walk… was made using an old Swedish traditional knot and sewing technique called “rya”. Presenting it as a framed painting the line between traditional craft and contemporary art is blurred.

Posted in Rya

Fairy Beds


Site specific installation in the National Botanic Gardens for Sculpture in Context 1st September – 7th October 2022.

Inspired by lichen and moss-covered old tree stumps Fairy Beds combine a traditional Swedish long-piled knot and sewing technique called “rya” with found wooden pieces.

“Come to the wood, for here is rest… sleep in forgetfulness of all ill”. (John Muir, 1875)

Photo credit: Karl Jordan

I only went out for a walk…


Site specific installation in the Edward Murphy Library at NCAD (National College of Art and Design), Dublin.
Coloured acetate sheets on window.

Variation of a composition I have used in an array of different media (painting, embroidery, rya (knotted pile technique), glass etc). The original composition was inspired by a specific wood area near my hometown in Sweden.

Spectacular Replica


View video and find more information on the show online here.
There is also a link to the video below.

My works in the exhibition:
Painting: “I only went out for a walk…”
Acrylic on canvas, 160 x 160 cm
(OPW collection)

Window installation: “…for going out was, in fact, going in”
Coloured acetates, appr. 175 x 195 cm

Installation – The world has changed its colours

“I only went out for a walk, but decided to stay until sundown, for going out was in fact going in” (John Muir)

The works in this immersive installation comprise of four pieces (+ cards) sprung from the same shape and colours, instigated by the painting I only went out for a walk. By using the same composition in a variety of media, scale and tonal values it plays with the viewer’s transformation of perception and emotion, often in intangible ways.

Informed by Helen Frankenthaler’s colour compositions the shapes and hues in the painting were unconsciously considered but originated from a particular forest area in my native country Sweden.

Josef Albers’ application of the same pattern in diverse materials, and his works made of small square glass pieces in particular, inspired me to divide my composition into 64 “pixels”. In order to capture the transparent qualities of coloured glass in a “lighter” way I used coloured acetate which was laminated for durability and additional reflections.

By illuminating the works in a dimly lit room attention is drawn to their “inner light” – their essence. United by the colours green and pink (in ancient scriptures considered to have healing qualities) the illuminated works become windows into which the viewer can reflect inwards rather than outwards. Influenced by Ellsworth Kelly’s chapel “Austin” the installation suggests a space of reverence and offers an opportunity for contemplation in a time of great uncertainty and change – in a world that has changed its colours.

 “I am confident that arts, culture and creativity will play an important role in bringing healing to the nation as we emerge from this unprecedented challenge” (Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture 3rd April 2020)

I only went out for a walk
Acrylic on canvas, 160 x 160 cm

I only went out for a walk (installation view)



I only went out for a walk II
Cotton yarn on Aida fabric, 25 x 25 cm
(18,225 cross-stitches in 27 colours)

I was only going out for a walk II (installation view)

I only went out for a walk III
Embroidery pattern (each square was highlighted to keep track of stitches made)

The world has changed its colours
64 coloured acetate sheets, 200 x 200 cm (pixelated compostion of I only went out for a walk)

The world has changed its colours (installation views)

Limited edition (30) memento cards, 13.5 x 13.5 cm

Stone circle series (work in progress)





Stone circles
, a new project which investigates ancient forms, both natural and man-made. Green and pink are associated with healing of the heart and lung area, and has philosophical attributes such as resilience, adaptability and hope – all significant in a time of great uncertainty and change as we battle Covid-19.