We got a chance to visit Erin M Riley in the studio to gain insight into her process of creating her amazing tapestries from pictures she borrows from the web.
“As I research the issues that preface addiction and risky behavior I am creating scenarios in my mind about how the people in the images I use grew up or how they have caved to the pressures of today’s life. I am finding images using Google Image Search, and Facebook, to find pictures of young adults in precarious situations or the objects that are the cause of arrest, investigation or bad behavior.”
“I am using imagery that I find to be shocking and excessive, that many might find to be temporary, fun and fleeting and weaving them into tapestries to solidify the event in yarn. I am weaving these images which reappear all over the internet to show how excessive and exploitative the internet can be. I am drawn to an image because of the details, braided hair, bracelets, music or video game posters, the color of lighters, trash in the background, used condoms, dirty underwear, spilled beer, ashtrays, hickies, spots on the mirror, dirty sheets, and dirty socks.”
“Many of the images of young girls are meant to be just about the body, sexually appealing and nothing else, sucked in bellies and arched backs but there are many details in these images that might clue you in to what kind of person this young woman might be. I wonder what it might feel like to feel the pressure as a young girl to provide these kinds of pictures and how this can cause a person to unravel as they grow up.”