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Information on current projects and exhibitions

A brief history of past important exhibitions

A brief description of the art works arranged by type

Information about forthcoming projects and exhibitions

A portfolio selection of the art works

An interactive tour of an exhibition at the Hartnett Murray gallery
in New York

A general artists' statement about the work

A complete history of all group and solo exhibitions

Links to other sites of interest

Recent reviews of shows and projects

Please join the mailing list or sign the guest book

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Viral Capsid Protein, acrylic on ply-wood, 1999

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The Lake of Dreams, computer generated print 1995

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The Marconi Wall Drawing, Gallery Marconi, Milan, 1992

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The Death of the Author, Spitalfields, London, 1991

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Phagocytosis, graphite on acrylic and graph paper, 1987

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The Death of the Author, Spitalfields, London, 1991

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Family Tree, Adam Gallery, London, 1993

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It's All About Eve, The Hartnett-Murray Gallery, 1999

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To see an interactive tour of the exhibition “It's All About Eve” at the Hartnett-Murray gallery in 1999 click on the Gallery Tour button above.

This work was subsequently exhibited at the London School of Economics in England. It was purchased and is now permanently on display in their senior dining room.

A portfolio page will soon be available but for now please use the Old Home Site accessible through the site map to see a fuller body of past works.

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To see an interactive tour of the exhibition “It's All About Eve” at the Hartnett-Murray gallery in 1999 click on the Gallery Tour button above.

This work is now permanently on display in the senior dining room London School of Economics
in England.

To see a full a list of exhibitions in detail use the button above to go to the Curricula Vitae (or Resume) page. Or to explore what's available in the rest of this site please use the site map.

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To visit the Djanogly center in Nottingham University please click on the button above

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Thank you for checking out this website. I admit it does have a bit of a musty smell about it but I will be working to remove the cobwebs over the next few months.

There has been a lengthy hiatus while I underwent a few significant life challenges and found a new direction for my work. Life can have a habit of getting in the way of art.

I've been working and the new work is a substantial departure from what's shown here. I'm excited about it but I'm not yet ready for the general pubic. I will be soon, I hope.

Email me at art [at] philipriley [dot] com if you would like more information about my work old or new or would like to be included on any future mailing list about projects or shows.

In the meantime my last big public piece was;A CHANGE OF LIGHT
February 2003 through 2004

www.a-change-of-light.com
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KEEP AN EYE IN THIS PAGE FOR EXCITING FORTCOMING PROJECTS.

In the meantime check out the current exhibitions page

The Portfolio pages will appear in a new window.

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A change of light

Steve Hillier of Dubstar


Art Science Collaborations Inc.

The Wellcome Trust

Plus Ultra Gallery

Schroeder Romero Gallery

www.a-change-of-light.com

easyweb.easynet.co.uk/
~stephenhillier/home.html


www.asci.org

www.welcome.ac.uk

www.plusultragallery.com

www.schroederromero.com

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Review of: A change of light
Djangoly Recital Hall,
Nottingham.
3rd October 2002

Peter Palmer,
Nottingham Evening Post

Good to know that the East Midlands region is capable of originating a concert of new music as attractive and accomplished as Thursday’s . Audrey Riley’s lyrical cello showed that contemporary music has soul.

The boisterous opening transcription from a pop album wasn’t typical. the following duet by Mark Brydon, for cello and drum kit , produced lighter sounds.

Pianist Andrew Zolinsky and guitarist James Woodrow joined the cellist in most of the pieces, including a tango by Cathal Coughlan and a muted instrumental song by Gavin Bryars.

Inspired by Scandinavian memories, Steve Hillier’s Dryker Storr exemplified the general sureness of touch. And the second of this work’s three movements was complemented particularly well by Philip Riley’s animated projections. The visual element in the performance was largely abstract, apart from an awesome electric storm. As a closing caption suggested, here was an artist with a feeling for the music.

Piano and guitar each earned a solo spot, the latter in lute pieces from 17th-century France.

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Selected Exhibitions

2005   February 1st  T-MINUS 2005
With Works By, Douglas Irving Repetto, Scott Fitzgerald, Doron Altaratz, Eric Socolofsky, Cali Mastny, Aaron Prust, Joshua Goldberg, Chris Jordan, Giles Hendrix, Adam Kendall, Adrei Rublev, Jason Frank, Wilson Brown, Aaron Ximm, Philip Riley
Synchronicity Space, 106 W. 13th St. New York NY

2003   Febuary to June  A change of light (touring)
with Audrey Riley, at venues across the UK and in Ireland.
For details the Current Exhibitions page of this site

2002   October 8th  A change of light (London premier)
with Audrey Riley, The Warehouse, Theed Street, London
2002   October 3rd  A change of light (World premier)
with Audrey Riley, Djanogly Center, Nottingham University, England
2002   June 6th  Leslie Brack, Stacy Greene, Philip Riley
Eric Dupont Gallery, Paris
2001   September  Here and Now,
Silicon Fine Arts gallery and The Dumbo General Store, Brooklyn NY (Digital Dumbo Festival)
2001   July  Four Wall-drawing projects
Plus Ultra Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
2000   January  (In)visible,
group show, Whittmann Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
1999   October   It's All About Eve,
one person show, London School of Economics, London
1999   September  400 Artists"Size Matters"
group show, Gale Gates et al. DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY
1999   May   Philip Riley & Patrick Weizel,
two person show, Hartnett Murray Gallery, Franklin St. New York
1999   January   The Paper Show,
group show, Hartnett Murray Gallery, Franklin St. New York
1998   December  Bioethics: Thresholds of Corporeal Completeness,
group show, Side St. Projects, Santa Monica CA
1996   June  Out of Space ,
group show, Oxford, England
1996   May  A glass of water,
group show, 526 W 26th Street, New York
1996   March   Desolation and Glee,
group show, 450 Broadway Gallery, New York
1995   June  In Search of the Miraculous, in honour of Bas Van Ader,
group show, Starkman Ltd. London
1995   March   Gramercy II,
with Maureen Paley/Interim Art, Gramercy Park Hotel, New York
1995   January  artCRA,
International art festival, group show, Accra, Ghana
1994   December   The Institute of Cultural Anxiety,
group show, ICA, London
1993   December  In Dark Times,
group show,Adam Gallery, London
1993   July   Wonderful Life,
group show, Lisson Gallery, London
1993   May   Family Tree,
one person show, Adam Gallery, London
1992   December   Instructions,
group show, (selected by Liam Gillick) Gio' Marconi, Milan, Italy
1991   September   The Death of the Author,
(with Audrey Riley), Princelet Street Synagogue, London

Works in publications

1994   December   Catalogue for The Institute of Cultural Anxiety,
ICA, London
1993   August   Interventions in two catalogues
produced by Starkman Library services, London
1992   December   Catalogue for Instructions,
Gio' Marconi, Milan

Biographical details

1983-86  Central School of Art and Design,
London
1982-83  Loughborough College of Art and Design,
Leicestershire

CV February 2009

statement

A statement of intent and (or) a brief explanation

All of my work is based in science. I am excited by and draw upon many branches of scientific activity, from medical biology, paleontology, physics, astronomy, virology and genetics to any and all areas that have a connection to human existence, origins and activity.

This fascination with science is born of a fascination with people and how they work. I mean this in a very straightforward, mechanical sense, and I mean it also in a deeper cultural and psychological sense. As these two strands cannot be separated neither can the practical role of science—in curing disease, conquering space and easing our lives—be separated from its cultural role in reshaping our world, our beliefs and our view of ourselves.

This cultural role has recently taken on a sense of urgency with the advent of new technologies such as cloning and genetic modification that have the ability to remove our absolute dependence upon nature for food, livelihood and even reproduction.

I have been called a poet by at least one reviewer and I consider it a compliment. I would characterize my work as a visual poetry where juxtaposition and contrast are the principal tools used to evoke meaning. Meaning can highlight something about the experience of living that remains obscured in the busy details of everyday life.

Though the visual experience of the work has primacy, everything else can be seen as subordinate to meaning. Medium, technique, reference and source materials are all selected for their ability to support meaning. That meaning is often some insight or discovery of science that excites me enough to want to communicate it to others. At other times it might be an item of unique beauty I have found undisturbed amongst the wealth of information it was employed to convey. I place the most importance on those moments when the mask of impartiality slips a little and the ideology and assumptions that lie at the heart of science are made momentarily visible. These are the moments that enable us all to better understand this powerful force that we are allowing to shape our lives.

artworks

INTRODUCTION

All of my work is based in science. I am excited by and draw upon many branches of scientific activity, from medical biology, paleontology, physics, astronomy, virology and genetics to any and all areas that have a connection to human existence, origins and activity.

This fascination with science is born of a fascination with people and how they work. I mean this in a very straightforward, mechanical sense, and I mean it also in a deeper cultural and psychological sense. As these two strands cannot be separated neither can the practical role of science—in curing disease, conquering space and easing our lives—be separated from its cultural role in reshaping our world, our beliefs and our view of ourselves.

This cultural role has recently taken on a sense of urgency with the advent of new technologies such as cloning and genetic modification that have the ability to remove our absolute dependence upon nature for food, livelihood and even reproduction.

I have been called a poet by at least one reviewer and I consider it a compliment. I would characterize my work as a visual poetry where juxtaposition and contrast are the principal tools used to evoke meaning. Meaning can highlight something about the experience of living that remains obscured in the busy details of everyday life.

TEXT WORKS

I frequently make works that are either entirely or in part made of text which has been “found”—most often in text books. I often take words straight from the source and present them as quotes, usually because they are highly revealing of the mind set that produced them and sometimes because the concepts they are dealing with do not translate readily into images. Words juxtaposed with images are very powerful at informing the way the images should be viewed and can create a resonance that is greater than either the picture or the words could alone.

The work displayed above is called The Lake of Dreams and is an image of the human brain annotated with the names of areas on the surface of the moon such as “The Ocean of Storms”, “The Marsh of Decay” and “The Sea of Tranquility”.

WALL DRAWINGS

These works are simply drawn on the wall of the exhibiting space, photographed and then destroyed. This method of working is appealing because the drawing is more immediate and less dependent on issues of picture-making, portability and other concerns. They are often simple responses to the images I find in textbooks and in them I display what I find significant and beautiful in a format that is immediate and uncomplicated. They are each dependent on location usually have some relationship with their site.

The work displayed above is called The Marconi wall drawing and was produced for the “Instructions” show curated by Liam Gillick at the Gio' Marconi Gallery in Milan. The format and subject of the work are based upon Leonardo DaVincis “Last Supper”, which is famously in Milan. This drawing details the final stage of the metabolic reaction that turns food molecules into energy in a format reminiscent of that historic work.

THEMED WORKS

One of the most important ways of working for me is in themed works. Usually these will result in a single exhibition where all the works are related under a single title. If an idea interests me then it will take multiple works to explore it satisfactorily as no single work can completely embody or communicate the subject or idea. Conversely each work in a themed show is also an individual piece. Works from these shows are often also shown in regular venues away from the rest, just as three pieces from The Death of the Author were shown in “Wonderful Life” at the Lisson Gallery, London, in 1993.

The image above is from The Death of the Author, an installation at the Princelet Street Synagogue, 1991. The work shown here was in the basement of the synagogue and comprised 100 lighted candles and a single extinguished candle under a bell jar standing in water. It was a reproduction of the first experiment that proved the presence of oxygen in air.

DRAWINGS AND EARLY WORKS, PRE–1991

The biography on this site begins with the exhibition The Death of the Author as this is the first exhibition in which the ideas that characterize the later work began to emerge as a coherent whole. Despite this there is a body of work and several exhibitions which predate that event. The first works that dealt specifically with science were a set of drawings in 1988 which used as source material the engravings in an old (1946) copy of Grey’s Anatomy which my father had used as a medical student. Being struck by the outdated information held in that book I became very aware that the authority of science—which we all take for granted—is contingent both on our belief in it and in sciences capacity for continuous revision. Science erases its errors and asserts its authority anew with each and every discovery.

The image above is called Phagocytosis, and is a tryptich that details the destruction of a bacterium by the body's immune system. It was not taken from any text book but imagined as a result of studying the hand-drawn images of Leukocytes I found in that old textbook.

exhibs

Each solo exhibition is made of a group of related works with a single theme and title. Together, the works explore an idea to a depth that I could not achieve in a single work alone. The following are descriptions of these shows and their themes which have helped to define my overall direction.

THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR
with music by Audrey Riley
Princelet Street Synagogue, London, 1991

This installation used the three floors of a disused but preserved shettle, or synagogue, for an exploration of the role science has played in displacing religion as the source of knowledge about the origin of our existence. The title is a theoretical term used in art to describe the removal of the hand of the artist from the creation of an art work. Each work in the piece, including the music, presented scientific information in a manner evocative of established religion. The music was written and performed by Audrey Riley with vocal parts sung by Sylvia Griffin. There were two live performances before an audience, and for the remainder of the installation a recording was played.

FAMILY TREE
Adam Gallery, London, 1993

This was an exhibition of paintings, wall drawings and works on paper, all on the subject of the emergence of life. From the experimental proof that life emerged from the primordial soup in The Birth of Adam to the cellular basis of life in Twelve Men, each work played with some aspect of existence. Often these were in diagrammatic form as such theories are usually presented in the textbooks where they can be found. The paintings, such as the one shown here, were of simple molecules like ammonia and water which are original components of the primordial soup. One of the works in this show, Mitochondrial Eve, was the foundation for all the pieces produced for the later show It’s All About Eve.

IT’S ALL ABOUT EVE
Hartnett-Murray gallery, 1999

This work—first seen in a two person show at the Hartnett-Murray Gallery in NYC in 1999—continues the theme of the emergence of life. This time the works explore more deeply the maintenance of a protected environment within the cell by such microscopic entities as bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts. This protected environment is one of the most elemental conditions of life, more fundamental even than the presence of DNA. Each of these structures defines life in an elemental way. They emerged very early on in life's development and they continue to this day to be its cornerstone. They are closely related by structure, function and history.

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