Marjolaine Ryley was born in London, in 1974 and studied for a BA (hons) in Photography at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design from 1993 –1996. She gained an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art from 1998-2000.
Marjolaine Ryley has exhibited and published her work both nationally and internationally including exhibitions at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, The Palacio des Artes, Porto and Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands. Publications include Villa Mona - A Proper Kind of House published by Trace Editions, and Growing up in the New Age an artist’s Monograph by Daylight books.
Ryley is currently working on a body of work entitled ‘The Thin Blue, The Deep Red Sea’. Funded through Arts Council England and in collaboration with The Miscarriage Association Charity where she is currently Artist in Residence, this project examines the ways miscarriage and pregnancy loss have been explored (and ignored) in arts and culture. Her work is held in the collections of the V&A and Serralves museum. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Photography and Video Art at the University of Sunderland.
CV & Education
1998-2000 MA Fine Art (Photography), Royal College of Art, London (dissertation commendation)
1993-1996 BA (Hons) Photography, Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham
1992-1993 BTEC Dip. Foundation Studies (Art & Design), Guildhall University, London
Research and Art Practice
‘Growing up in the New Age’: www.growingupinthenewage.org is an artist initiated research project that explores the counterculture’, from communes in the south of France, squatting in South London and ‘free school’ education to the many forays into all things ‘New Age’ set against the backdrop of social and political happenings of the era. Using a range of approaches including photography, film and video, writing, collecting, re-using archival materials and the web ‘Growing up in the New Age’ sets out to reconsider the social utopias of the 1960s and early 70s and what we might learn from them today. The work can be read as sitting between fact and fiction, past and present, the real and the imaginary. A new artists Monograph showcases this work. ‘Growing up in the New Age’, Daylight, NY.
‘The Thin Blue Line / The Deep Red Sea’: Using photography, moving image, creative texts and found materials I explore issues that look at linking my own personal experiences to broader social and political narratives. The Thin Blue Line The / Deep Red Sea is a new body of work exploring my experience of recurrent miscarriage and journey to motherhood. Drawing on my own and other women’s experiences, the images tell personal stories, while utilising the commonly shared imagery that women in different cultures use to represent miscarriage and loss.
2012 ‘Growing up in the New Age’ Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow (as part of Glasgow International festival)
‘Growing up in the New Age’ Wolverhampton Art Gallery
2009 ‘Photography on Display’, Victorian and Albert Museum, London
2008 'Résidence Astral,' Impressions Gallery, Bradford
2007 'Résidence Astral', Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow
(Artists' Minigraph with newly commissioned essay by Val Williams )
2006 'Residence Astral', Atrium Gallery, London College of Communication
'Villa Mona - A Proper Kind of House', Northern Gallery for Contemporary
'Avenue', York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Arts Centre, Toronto
Selected Group Exhibitions
2014 ‘Eulogy’ Vane Gallery Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
2012 ‘Moral Holiday’, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
2011 ‘Civic’ international festival of Billboard Art, Vardy Gallery, Northern gallery for contemporary Art and off site Billboards locations both in UK and Greece
2010 'Like Tears in Rain', Palácio des Artes, Fábrica de Talentos, Portugal (exh.cat)
2009 'Résidence Astral', Victoria & Albert Museum, London
‘Research 09’, Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland
‘Photo 50 09’ London Art Fair, Islington
2007 'Special Edition Prints' Brahm Gallery, Leeds
2006 'The Elephant Vanishes', East Room, Tate Modern, London
'Northern England in Northern Slovakia', Dom Fotografie, Galeria P.M. Slovakia
2005 'The Space Between the Sole & the Heal', Globe Gallery, North Shields
2004 'Trace Editions', Hirschl Contemporary Art, London
'Home Ideal Show', Eshoda Arts, Bath (exh.cat)
2003 'Dislocation', K3 Project Space, Zürich
'Interior Life', Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
'Proof', Studio 1.1, London
'26.09.03', Flaca, London (exh. cat))
'Hand Luggage', K3 Project Space, Zurich
2012 ‘Jura Bound’ Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK
2008 'Résidence Astral' Centenary square, Bradford
2003 ‘Fruit of the Loop', Symposium on Video, Art & Food, Immola Museum, Italy (exh.cat)
‘Braziers 2003’ International Artists Workshop exhibition, Oxfordshire (exh. cat)
2002 'Experimental Spaces 2', Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, East Sussex
2000 'Assembly', Stepney City, London (exh. cat)
Books / Publications
2013 ‘Growing up in the New Age: A journey into Wonderland’ in Alternative Worlds:
Constructing Utopias on Earth and Beyond. (Oxford, New York: Berghahn, 2014).
2012 ‘Growing up in the New Age’, Artists Monograph, Daylight, NY 2013 Essays by Val Williams and Malcolm Dickson
2012 ‘One photograph: Life on the Floor’, Journal of Photography & Culture, 2012
2011 ‘Growing up in the New Age - Field Study’ 14 (with Dave, Walkling & Val Williams)
2007 'Résidence Astral' Portfolio Magazine, Spring issue
2006 'Villa Mona - A Proper Kind of House', Artists monograph published by Trace Editions with an essay by Camilla Brown, senior curator at the Photographers' Gallery, London
'Résidence Astral - Field Study 7', Photography & the Archive Research Centre, London
2004 'Villa Mona - A Proper Kind of House', n.paradoxa - International Feminist Art Journal, issue 13 (Domestic Politics)
2003 'Fash N Riot', issue 2
2002 ‘ABC Magazine', issue C (ed. Hussein Chalayan)
'Fash N Riot', issue 1
2000 'Eventful: Photographic Time' (ed. Yve Lomax), Royal College of Art, London 'Royal College of Art Show', Royal College of Art, London (ex. cat.)
2012 Stewart, Sue ‘Growing up in the New Age’ Photo highlights on The Radio 2 Culture Show
2008 Clark, Robert Review 'Résidence Astral' in Guardian Guide, April 19-26 p.36
Begbie, Guy, 'Villa Mona - A Proper Kind of House', Book Arts Newsletter no. 31, UWE, Bristol
Hedges, Ruth, 'Villa Mona - A Proper Kind of House', Eight Magazine: Home, vol. 5, no. 4, spring 2007
2006 Brown, Camilla, 'Looking at the Overlooked' in 'Stilled: Contemporary Still Life Photography by Women', Ellipsis volume 3, pp. 74-75
Williams, Val, 'Ghost Worlds: Photography & the Family' in Exit Magazine no.20 spring 2006
2002 ‘Showcase' Creative Review', May 2002
2001 ‘New Talent’ 'Lab Magazine', issue 2
Dyson, Jonathan, 'Development Stage' in 'The Independent Magazine', 27th May
Work in Collections
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Serralves Museum, Porto, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, East Sussex, Pavilion, Leeds, Private collections
Residencies / Research Fellowships
2014/15 Artist in Residence at the Miscarriage Association Charity
I am working on ‘The thin blue line / the deep red sea’ – a project exploring miscarriage and pregnancy loss, funded through Arts Council England and in collaboration with the Miscarriage Association.
2005/07 Visiting Research Fellow at PARC (Photography and the Archive Research Centre) University of the Arts, London.
This two-year fellowship looked at the effects of digital technologies on family photography and the shifting nature of these archives in the digital age. I posed a number of research questions around personal photo archives creating a forum for study and discussion: www.thelastpictureshow.org
2005 The Elephant Vanishes, Tate Modern, London
This weeklong residency invited artists, writers, filmmakers and photographers to explore Elephant and Castle prior to the planned 1.5 billion-regeneration of the area. The ageing pink shopping centre and hectic traffic roundabout are now seen as unsatisfactory experiemts in modernity. This residency/workshop explored, investigated and documented the area around elephant and castle and culminated with a performance and exhibition in the East Room at Tate Modern. My work focused on Baldwin’s Herbal Remedies shop on the Walworth road where I work as a student.
2002/03 Experimental Spaces Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Hastings
Experimental Spaces offered artists the opportunity to use the gallery space to develop their own work and work with other artists in full view of the public Experimental Spaces 2002 included Jonathon Gilhooly's examination of magic and illusionism, Sonja Wyndham-West building a labyrinth from old furniture and my work using photography and Super 8 film to explore the relationship between people and place.
2003 Braziers International Artists Workshop, Oxfordshire
Braziers brings together up to 30 artists of all nationalities for 16 days to work, exchange dialogue and experiment in a way that is mutually beneficial. It offers an opportunity of participating in an activity removed geographically and conceptually from usual studio practice; in an environment where experiments can be made and leaps of imagination can occur. My work explored the communal environment and role of food in the community through video and photography.
Conferences and Artists Talks
2014 Patterns of Disclosure, The Narrative Document and the Photographic Book (Keynote speaker) - Plymouth University
Disclosure, a term usually associated with psychology, relates to a process of revealing and sharing information, often personal and intimate, between one person and another. Taking that idea as a point of departure, this one-day symposium explores the ways in which photographic narratives are constructed and aim to communicate.
2013 Family Ties Manchester Met University
Following on from the selection of my paper ‘The Thin Blue Line / The Deep Red Sea, Artists autobiographical explorations of Pregnancy Loss’ for the Family ties conference event at RGS in 2012 I have been invited by the Family Ties group to talk at a seminar event in June and to participate in a touring group show. The show includes key artists working in the filed of family photography such as Rosy Martin and Trish Morrissey.
2011 Alternative Worlds The institute for Germanic and Romance studies (University of London School of Advanced Study). In an attempt to escape the doom and gloom of the economic crisis the seminar’s theme for 2011 is ‘Alternative Worlds’. The aim is to examine the dreams, plans and hopes, but also the nightmares and fears reflected in utopian thinking since 1900 in the Western hemisphere. My talk will be on the project ‘Growing up in the New Age’.
2008 Marking Space (Keynote speaker) – Swansea Metropolitan University / CIRIC
This was a multi-disciplinary one-day symposium where artists and designers from many disciplines explored sometimes very different interpretations of what it means to ‘mark space’. Some considered issues of gendered space, belonging and displacement, others interrogated the meaning of virtual and physical space: how we occupy space and how we move through it. My talk focused on my art practice in critical context exploring in particular how people ‘mark space’.
2006 Interacting with the Archive; Creative Approaches (co-organised with Michelle Allen), National Glass Centre, Sunderland
Including presentations on the Peterlee Project by Stuart Brisley and North East Mining archive by Stuart Howard. Co-ordination of conference in collaboration with Michelle Allen and Interface, University of Ulster as part of the series of events; Performing the Archive. I also gave a paper on archives and artists working practices.
2007 Picturing the Family - From the Inside Out The National Portrait Gallery, London
This one-day event looked at family Photography. My talk ‘Dirty Linen, Nausea and Belgian Waffles’ explored the question “Can a subject ever be too personal?” through looking at my own work within the context of family and drawing on examples from arts and popular culture to examine these issues.
2005 Art in Boxes PARC (Photography and the Archive research centre) University of the Arts, London
'Art in Boxes' was a series of seminars for invited speakers and MA and PhD students held at PARC. My talk asked, “Is the way photographs are collected and stored changing forever in the digital age? How will we examine a legacy left on-line a personal collection out there in the ether? Is this indeed the last picture show?” The talk also explored ideas of the miniature and the contained through Bachelard’s “Poetics of Space’.