P.P.O.W presents Used Tape, Erin M. Riley’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Riley is a fiber artist who makes large-scale tapestries using a centuries-old hand weaving process.
For her work, Riley sources yarn from shuttered textile mills around the United States; she then washes, strips and hand-dyes the wool before weaving on a Macomber loom. The exhibition features her meticulously crafted tapestries depicting intimate scenes that reflect on relationships, memories, fantasies, sexual violence and trauma.
The imagery in Riley’s work is derived from personal photographs, found photographs sourced from the Internet and still lifes. She explores the innate difficulty of womanhood, objectification of the female body and traumas both large and small that weigh on the search for self-identity. Riley has a history of sexual assault and violence in her family, the fear of which had a deep impact on the formation of her sexual identity. Her work is often partially autobiographical, an aspect of her practice that she sees as essential to both processing these experiences and making others feel less alone.