Emma Riley uses the natural environment as a source for her site-specific work, responding to the landscape in an ecological manner. Texture from natural fibres, colour from both flora and mineral sources and found objects inform her work to create pieces that can only be created by both environment and time.
Ferrous (2014) is a body of work created in response to the landscape and history of Portland. A landscape surrounded by sea and shaped by both agriculture and industry – Ferrous responds to that landscape using Portland wool (from the only flock of Portland sheep remaining on the Isle), iron waste left from quarrying machinery, sea water, stone and time. The Portland fleece is processed and handspun by Emma, and used to create a fabric that weaves a narrative, echoing Portland’s past and present; reflecting on what the Isle once was and what it is now.
“Being selected for a b-side research bursary has been a wonderful opportunity to redefine myself as an artist and a maker. The support I have received from b-side has helped my work to evolve towards a mixed media practice from an applied art origin. I have had the freedom to explore my work and in being part of the festival I will get a chance to showcase that journey – a creative journey which has given me the invaluable chance to expand my work in exploring new environments.”
Emma Riley is a recipient of a b-side bursary 2013.
‘It was a great opportunity to be a part of the festival. It’s a wonderful festival with a real buzz about it.’ Emma Riley