Erin M. Riley’s “Darkness Lies Ahead” Weaves Trauma into New Tapestries

by CaroPosted on

When you hear the word “tapestry”, you might think of classical, lavish pastoral images dotted with decorative designs. Erin M. Riley is an artist who brings the medium into a new Contemporary context with her insightful portrayals of modern women. Her previous solo exhibition, “Something Previous” (featured here) borrowed inspiration from the internet. In a world where we can share our every thought and most intimate moments, we tend to lose our sense of boundaries. This is a concept that continues to intrigue Riley, which she extends into her current show “Darkness Lies Ahead” at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York. Notably, the exhibition features her largest pieces to date on display, some just over eight feet wide. The show is also decidedly darker, debuting a new series that captures the trauma of roadside accidents. Titled “The History Pieces”, the series recreates scenes of wrecked cars and tire skid marks, alluding to the tragedy that has taken place. Riley likens these as a metaphor for her own personal tragedies or experiences, including her relationships with men. She displays them alongside her more signature nude “Selfies” series, anonymous women photographing themselves with their iPhones. There is another underlying link between the two ideas and that is our modern day voyeuristic interest in someone else’s business. In a way, scrolling through someone’s Instagram account is no different than rubbernecking, and Riley captures this morbid curiosity with increasingly provocative pieces. “Darkness Lies Ahead” by Erin M. Riley is now on view at Joshua Liner gallery through June 6th.

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