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The contemporary art scene is currently thriving around the world. With social media dominating our lives and content thrown at us with every scroll, it’s not surprising that artists are getting more exposure than ever. While this is undoubtedly a good thing, it also makes it more difficult than ever for creatives to get noticed, as we’re flooded with content left right and centre. 


One failsafe way to attract attention and develop a fanbase is to stand out from the crowd – to make yourself totally different from all the other players on the field. A few weeks ago we came across Erin M. Riley via Instagram, and it’s safe to say that her work left a lasting impact on us and had us checking back again and again. 



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? Bundle ? @fosteenstagram

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Erin takes influence from topics that have affected the lives of many, and are simply a mainstay if you grew up in the city. She touches on urban culture, money, the drug trade and also references many different styles of tattoos. While these are all typical themes of urban art, Erin’s work is totally individual due to the fact it’s tapestry. 


Yes, you heard correctly – it’s tapestry. This type of art has been used since Hellenistic times, and dates back to the 3rd Century BC. Tapestry is a textile that’s then intricately embroidered or woven to display an artwork. It’s often used for religious purposes and is relatively rare in this day and age. This incredible juxtaposition of modern culture and ancient methods creates for an unmistakable style that’s propelled Erin’s work to come on leaps and bounds, eventually being showcased at some of the biggest most prestigious art events in the world such as Frieze Fair London.



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Big sketches for bigger tapestries. ?

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Erin now has her very own studio where she can spend hours on end creating her masterpieces, which have now moved onto tackling real-life issues that affect those around us. She has created tapestries touching on domestic violence, rape and emotional abuse. While these are tough subjects and often quite point-blank, these issues currently reside in our society and are a real issue that should be brought to light. 


Another constant theme throughout Erin’s tapestries is heavily tattooed women. Erin herself is tattooed, and it’s clear that the focus on tattooed and often nude women promotes the undeniable beauty that has often been shunned by the mainstream media over the years. The women depicted in her artwork assume selfie-style positions, once again making the juxtaposition between ultra-modern culture and the classical tapestry more apparent than ever. These selfie photos are often recreated from genuine photographs Erin has either taken of herself of friends.



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Lost, 2019 / Pure Hell, 2011 I spent many years afraid you’d die. Never picking up my phone, perpetually preparing for the day. These days I work on understanding stillness. #dontdie

A post shared by Erin M. Riley (@erinmriley) on


If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, we’d highly recommend taking the time just to scroll through Erin’s Instagram account, as you’ll no doubt be hooked and want to learn more just from that. Be sure to hit that follow button to stay up to date with her latest work, and keep your eyes peeled for more soon, we’re certain that there’s great things to come from Erin Riley. 



Posted: July 18th, 2020 / Art, Spotlight On

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