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Mary-Rose Riley: Look Left

Mary-Rose Riley, Dance (just a flash of light), 2022, detail, felt, synthetic stuffing, cotton thread, plastic sheeting, welding wire

Mary-Rose Riley,
Dance (just a flash of light), 2022,
Detail, felt, synthetic stuffing, cotton thread, plastic sheeting and welding wire,
Image courtesy of the artist.

Look Left is a solo exhibition by North East Victorian Artist Mary-Rose Riley featuring a range of new textile-based works that have been developed over the past few years. Riley's recent transition from drawing and painting has been intentional, as the artist finds comfort in reverting to stitching, a skill learned in childhood, to contend with periods of being unsettled. The recycled materials utilised in this exhibition have been gifted or reclaimed, such as felt scraps from a local school and old tablecloths originally sourced from an army disposals store.

Riley allows herself to be guided by the nature of the found materials, embracing their random shapes or hidden stains. This is an important part of her process and allows for each new work to be unique and unexpected. Repurposing and manipulating materials into sculptural forms give these discarded textiles another life. They are transformed into something new, their relevance reinstated, and their beauty distilled.

Life is full of imperfections and unpredictable events but Look Left is a reminder to take a moment to lean into process, because sometimes the serious and mundane can become a thing of joy.

About the Artist

Mary-Rose Riley is a visual artist based in North East Victoria whose practice spans four decades. Her multidisciplinary output incorporates observational drawing, painting, and more recently her work has included sculptural and time-based pieces.

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