Claire Riley exhibition, 53.Two gallery, Manchester
PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 January 2018
Copyright © Simon W Randall 2017 @ swrdigital.com
The captivating work of local artist Claire Riley came under the spotlight when it was exhibited at 53.Two gallery in Manchester city centre.
Claire Riley exhibition
Matthew Evans, Tom Harrington, Gary Whitworth and Peter Richardson
Deirdre and Chris Cassin
Maria Woodward, Kieran and Rachel Toal
Kevin Mousley and Louise Taylor
Julie-Anne Wilkinson, Kevin Mousley and Louise Taylor
Lizzie Stokell, Alison and Joel Raynes
Linda and Paul Mousley
Anne Dawson, Gabby Hooper and Jane Ayers
Fran Bargess and Alex King
Paul and Maureen Smith
Claire Riley, Hazel Duffy and Janet Phillips
Julie-Anne Wilkinson and Ian Wilson
The urban venue was fitting for Claire’s work, much of it inspired by the changing landscape of Greater Manchester.
Claire grew up in Didsbury but was drawn to derelict areas of Hulme and Moss Side during the slum clearance of the mid-1960’s where she would take photos with her dad’s cine camera.
‘I would pester my dad to take me there with his new camera so I could capture the scene. I was intrigued by the sense of chaos and abandonment and the feeling of change that was in the air,’ explained Claire. Her work is characterised by watery textures of light, half-light, of hidden places that only she has observed and of the mingling of the old and new that sums up Manchester today.
As a night-time social worker Claire sees the region at dawn and twilight as she travels across the metropolis.
‘My job, working at night, has inspired me to see things in a different light, literally and figuratively. I feel compelled to record the region old and new. I certainly feel more connected to what’s around me since doing this job,’ says Claire.
‘I prefer to see myself as a digital painter rather than an artist. My work is not about photo manipulation, more about using a virtual paint palette. And more recently I’m using an actual paint palette to create or further embellish the earlier digital images, which I find quite exciting.
‘I’m really enjoying the challenge of this and getting messy again!’