"Scenic Route" Preview: Studio Visit with Erin M. Riley
Posted on March 09 2015
My "Portrait of a Father" series relates to the large looming, seemingly violent and explosive characters in my young life. When I got my first car at age 16 it was a Honda Civic and for the first time I could relate my feelings towards fathers, step fathers, men of authority, etc to something tangible.
I found semi trucks on the highway to reflect the way I felt about the violent mysterious men on the verge of destruction. Coming upon these crashed semi trucks I found great relief realizing that everything can look pathetic, everything can be stopped.
My Highway Memorial and History series relate to the feelings of loss and dealing with the remnants of what is left. How simple road marks on the highway could mark the turning point in ones' life and how crosses and flowers symbolize death and despair in a way that feels palatable. Memorializing a death in the keeping up of an altar allows the living to locate their emptiness.
Erin M. Riley is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work uses traditional tapestry techniques, hand dyeing wool and weaving on a floor loom to weave images of young women in states of undress or exposure, personal objects and landscapes relating to destruction and death. Her work is the culmination of research into addiction, sexual experimentation, popular internet culture, the effects of single parent households, socio-economic status’ etc.
Erin was born in Massachusetts in 1985. She received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally since 2004 and published in Playboy Magazine, FFWMAG, Juxtapoz Magazine, New American Painting, Lotto Magazine, FiberArts Magazine and Surface Design Journal.
Erin has received awards and residencies from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and McColl Center for Visual Art. She is a Ruth and Harold Chenven Grant and a Kittredge Foundation Grant recipient and a forthcoming Museum of Arts and Design Artist in Residence.
All images by Jason Chen for Paradigm Gallery + Studio
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