Biography

2017

Twit Time and Loose Endings

Invited by Richard Ducker to exhibit four sculptures at the coffeeismycupoftea Space in June

Galen Riley continues her concern with the fabrication of environments and objects that articulate the transition between different spaces and states. Here Riley loosely uses the life cycle of the owl as it moves from nest to amorphous omelette. This amoeboid mesh Twit Too: An Owl Omelette is both a pre and post owl. Twit Too: An Owl Omelette refers the gloop we come from and return to.
Riley often deploys a repetitive technique, here chiefly macramé, with its time-counting nature, to evoke the physical presence of the dead and beings of the future. She uses mostly rope and string to gesture at multidimensional diagrams of space in flux. Twit: I'm Not My Usual Self comes from a flat 1970s macramé 'Owl Kit' expanded into three dimensions over a 24" balloon. It grows again when she attempts to blow up a 36" balloon in the complete 24" net.


Work titles from front to rear

Twit: I'm Not My Usual Self
Twit Too: An Owl Omelette
Polychromatic Twits
Nest

There's Something in the Long Grass

Ocean View Summer Show 2pm 22/07/17

The Mogridge & O'Donovan Foundation for the Arts present Galen Riley's
sculpture and installation in Tarlton, Gloucestershire.

This exhibition brings together sculpture by Galen Riley spanning nearly twenty years; a semi-retrospective from 1998 to 2017.
Early work Bunny Ear and Claw introduce the use of animal parts to describe human characteristics. Here they act as a duo demonstrating seductive attack modes. Claw has a double posterior adjacent to its sharp claws and the apparently coy Bunny Ear hides itself to position you for attack, acting in a similar way to the serial killer in Don't Look Now. Claw has unrealistic biology and the bunny is all ear, one ear from tip to tip. Riley is not concerned with physical truths or representation.
Equally, Riley's use of flight and flying machines in her sculpture is less about aeroplanes than the urge to pursue flight and impossible movement. Turning Plane (here in maquette form) is the rotation of a Boeing 747 on its axis. It describes an other-dimensional shift, a passenger plane which has moved in a potentially catastrophic way to form a near immaculate object. It appears to be a spinning top, a red toy with the ego of a six year old.
Dog's Body is a ghost dog endlessly chasing its tail. There is no body, its shape is manifest by a lurid green sheet. This is a portrait of her father an horologist forever chasing time.
Armour is a phantom of Riley's past self and another impossible biology. The chainmail (each link made by coiling garden wire) appears to contain a body but the space defined is simply her cross-section, a slice through. This two dimensional shadow still has a belly button on one side and thumbs.
Further corrupting barriers and movement, Spring is a climbing rope sliding horizontally as it cuts through the fence from the car park.
Nest is a looser tangle of ropes going in all directions simultaneously and a pliable home for the Twits. These bunch-of-balloon Twits are the diverse offspring of the drunken owl in the tree. They are future creatures.
Twit: I'm Not My Usual Self is a three-dimensional rendering of a flat 1970s macramé 'Owl Kit'. Originally formed around a 24" balloon the owl is now overfilled with a 36" balloon. This owl eyed creature takes on the aspect of a bloated drunk. The ancient Greeks ate owl eggs as a cure for hangovers so perhaps this cannibalistic and over blown owl will have to eat its own young in the morning. 
Ongoing since 2001 the Bunny Bags populate the garden vulnerably but as a dominant mass, mostly looking at you! You looking at me?

2016

Artificial Paradise: A Study of Intoxication.

Ben Fitton, Annis Joslin, Galen Riley, Dallas Seitz and Kenneth Varpe and a paperless poem from Richard Dyer 'Alcohol' on the opening night.

In Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise, Doctor Ronald K Siegel posits the drive towards intoxication as the ‘fourth’ drive, after Freud’s three basic human drives. The relationship between art and alcohol is a long and fruitful one, intoxication often leads to inspiration, and the dislocation of the rational mind by drink or other intoxicants and mind-altering substances allows the subconscious content to float freely to the surface. The artists in ‘Artificial Paradise: A Study of Intoxication’ all have intoxication as an overt or covert part of their praxis, inflecting the work through the distorting prism of intoxication.

Full press pack available on request via the contact page.

Six Second Gallery
Unit Six Second Floor
51-63 Ridley Road
Hackney
E8 2NP

October/November
Curator: Galen Riley

WOT NO

London Centre for Book Arts

The second instalment of WOT NO with new work by Galen Riley and new text by Sally Fairbrass.

WOT NO will be inviting artists curators, writers, to the first in a series of self curated experiments.
WOT NO is aimed especially for those who use printed matter/publishing/text as an artistic outlet. The participants will be encouraged to explore new curatorial experimentation within the spacial limitations of WOT NO.
http://wotno.org/

2015

Salon of the Collectorexic at The Apârtment 5th, A1 Studios, Bow Arts Trust

Exhibiting 'Double Time'

The Apartment is an on-going collaboration between artists working in the A1 Studio block together with their invited guest curators and artists.
For this 5th Apartment evening, guest Dallas Seitz will exhibit and co-curate the work of eight other invited artists along with the residents.

The Apârtment core team: Teresa Witz, Paolo Fiorentini, Lynn Carter and I.Carlos.


Guest Artists: Hillary Jack, Nikky Plews, Galen Riley, Jonathan Gent, DnA Factory, Maslen & Mehra, Alex MacGregor and Dallas Seitz.

In the Salon of the Collectorexic
Making connections from objects to objects - playing with groupings, distorting them, reproducing them - is now common in art practice. The intertextuality between objects, images and means of display has become a way to investigate, quote, parody, and relate to art.

This exhibition brings together the work from a range of artists that refer to this intertextuality through objects and painting that speak of collecting, craft-making, furniture building, and notions on foreign curiosities. Pulling from early displays of art works and objects the “Salon” is the basis for this exhibition. Imported, hunted, found, stolen, made, objects and images became the symbol of the wealthy and cultured, this leading to Museums and Galleries being built to house the various private collections. Now these collections have become beacons of historical value, culture and intellect. Looking at these major national Museums and collections the intent of the exhibition is to create a discussion about how contemporary artists have used this in their own practise.

2013

Unknown Sitter DOS at CHARLIE DUTTON GALLERY, London

Exhibiting 'Bone Dry'

This is Part II of Unknown Sitter, curated by Covadonga Valdes. The contributing artists were Virginia Verran, Dallas Seitz, Galen Riley, Damien Meade, Cathy Lomax, Marcus Harvey, Kirsten Glass, David Dipre and Marianne Basualdo.

"This group exhibition combines painting, installation and sculpture to explore various anonymities of the portrait. Playing with ambiguity, these works call into question the meaning of ‘non-identity’ in portraiture that comes about perhaps as the result of a suspicion of its true intention or as a consequence of a disguised or even rootless origin.
Focusing on the tangible and three-dimensional aspects of the portrait as it unfolds towards a disarrangement of its theme, the sitters become subject to question. Habit and recognition fade, at times through the ability of the skill which manipulates or moulds its three dimensional aspect, at other times when the subjects turn inward to perform something imagined or felt, or to view at their own self- reflective narcissism through playful painterly techniques or ghostly installation.
‘The Unknown Sitter DOS’ performs as the disk operating system, excavating body parts to reassemble them as a contemporary portraiture of unflattering and unsentimental figures which participate in the uncanny dislocation of their narratives."
COVADONGA VALDES

Bunny Hop

CSM College Shop, King's Cross

2012

Not Now, I'm Busy

CSM Window Test

2011

Utrophia

July/August, 120 Deptford High Street SE8

Utrophia's maiden exhibition at their new address. The show includes work by Rachel Warriner, Richard Dyer, Ben Meschko and many others.

Utrophia

June, Tanner's Hill SE8

The final exhibition in the old space.

One Thing Leads to Another

http://www.w-ca.net/email/portlandhouse_1.html

In this exhibition three new installations demonstrate the artist’s continuing concern with the fabrication of environments and objects which articulate the transition between different spaces and states.

One Thousand Feet ascends the stairway, cutting through three floors. Looped between balustrade and handrail is a knotted mesh of over one thousand feet of rope. The macramé plant holders have escaped the office and gone wild on the stairs.

The half-hidden Spring Cleaner alludes to elevation and escape, the propelling spring being fashioned from Edelweiss climbing rope. Claustrophobic, moribund and erotic implications in this ‘jack-in-the-box’ piece are heightened by the confinement of the ten-foot sprung-spring in a tiny cupboard previously used by the cleaner.

Strangle Room is a quasi-geometrically strung boundary condition otherwise referred to as Knot Now I’m Busy. The room is criss-crossed by an intricate tangle of rope, string and thread. The viewer is denied access to the space by the presence of this self-suspended mass of polychrome lines.

2010

Mortars at Dawn

Carter Presents at Leroy House, London

2009

Hobby Life, with Covadonga Valdes and Sarah Baker

Carter, London

Galen Riley deploys strategies of the hobbyist – macramé, knitting and sewing – and their repetitive, time-counting nature, to evoke the physical presence of her father (an horologist) by constructing body-parts with fragments of his clothing and left belongings. Covadonga Valdes' detailed and intense paintings inhabit both calmness and disquiet. Sarah Baker, formerly a Synchronized Swimmer, often uses the reflection of celebrity to deconstruct narratives and weave stories around obsession, greed and lust.

2008

TOUWORKS 2, Laboratory Polymorphic

Tou Scene, Norway

A collaborative process initially curated by Dallas Seitz(CA/UK) and Kenneth Varpe(NO) who were later invited to participate in the exhibition by the artists selected. The other Artists included were Robert Johansson(SE), Priya Mistry(UK), The Miller and McAfee Press(UK) and Galen Riley.

Emerald City

with Rachel Warriner, Heyday Gallery, London

Well Well

Interlined Gallery, Curtain Road, London

Collision

Published in La Journal, 29th February, Museum of Modern Art, Paris

2007

Bunny Bags

Interlined Gallery, Curtain Road, London

2006

Celador

Underground Gallery, Manchester

Charming Rope

The Circle House, Brighton

Everything Must Go

VTO, London

2005

Killing Time

Tou Scene, Norway

An eschatological study revolving around a sense of loss and disaster or escape including the artists; Marta Bakst, Semonara Chowdhury, Steven Eastwood, Anna Fasshauer, Annis Joslin, Woodrow Kernohan, Nikki Plews, Galen Riley and Kenneth Varpe.

2004

Little Episodes

Permanent Gallery, Brighton

The Royal Road to the Unconscious

Freud Museum, London

Fuch Luch, For Irma (collected objects from The Interpretation of Dreams)
Dallas Seitz

2003

Sexed Up, War and Peace

Flowers Central, London

Killing Time

Holt, Sherborne

Wood Work

White Cubicle, George and Dragon, London

Killing Time

ZMMA, Underwood Street, London

2002

Telling Stories, Visual Narratives

Barnard House, Bethnal Green, London

2001

Tippi Hedren

VTO, London

With Ben Fitton, Annis Joslin, Kate Grieve, R Nick Evans, Nicole Plews, Dallas Seitz and Mark Hutchinson.

MA Fine Art

Chelsea, London

The House

Chelsea, Bagley's Lane

2000

AHRB Postgraduate Award

1995

Degree of BA in Fine Art with First Class Honours

Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall

Galen Riley's Work

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