Head On is an exhibition of meticulously hand-woven, hand-dyed wool tapestries depicting intimate portraits of sexuality and trauma, subjects often considered socially taboo. Using both personal and found photographs combined with scale and text, artist Erin M. Riley addresses the many layers involved in exploring and confronting one’s identity in overcoming sexual and dating violence.
Frequently autobiographical, her work addresses the innate trauma of womanhood and the objectification of the sexualized body. Riley combines text messages she herself has received from stalkers, documents used to report domestic violence, and remnants of unraveling relationships, with pornography, self-portraiture, and the literal “mess” of one’s body. Through her work, Riley presents complex narratives existing in her mind simultaneously.