Bill Riley: Expressions of Interest

Wallace Arts Trust Collection Gallery

July 11th to 16th September 2015

Expressions of Interest represents 15 years of painting from New Zealand artist Bill Riley. Riley’s investigations of the possible extensions and inherent problems of painting and how these are defined and operate within a gallery environment are explored through interactive visual experiences in colour and shade, physicality and structure.

Riley’s studies of spatial depth, optical illusion and tonality feature across this collection of works from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection. His use of reflective lens-like surfaces, and delicately applied layers of paint operate both as purely visual experience and also as a vehicle to discuss a broad range of concerns. Included in this exhibition are two mixed media installations dating from 2011. In each, Riley’s use of colour is translated in to three dimensional form. The result is a sense of playfulness transposed into an often stark gallery space.

“The paintings are about colour, form and materiality but they are also underpinned by personal and social politics. Although formal in appearance the choice of materials and techniques resonate such concerns as climate change, human and cultural displacement, and social justice.

They are at the same time subjective and abstract constructions but they also operate as a platform for debate and discussion. They function perhaps as an existential mix of aesthetics and political discourse that serve as a metaphor for our current human condition.”
Bill Riley, 2014