Heather Riley was born and raised in the middle of country in a square state and has since migrated east to the great city of Philadelphia where she lives and works. She keeps a lively studio in her house, and is usually working on 7 or 8 pieces at a time. Paintings, drawings, wood sculptures - everything happens in conjunction with each other. She considers anything she encounters to have the possibly of art, so she ends up bringing home a lot of stuff she finds on the street. Much of this media ends up in her work, or strewn about her desk. She has many influences including: Cyfford Still, Jean Arp, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Anne Minich, Joseph Cornell, Tara Geer, Joseph Beuys, Stuart Davis, Ellsworth Kelly, David Salle, Anne Truitt and Cy Twombly. There are of course countless others. She is also inspired by graphic design, type, architecture, cartoons and children's wooden toys. Heather has a BFA in art, and also studied studio art in Florence, Italy. Most recently completed a Post Baccalaureate degree at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She has shown in numerous group and solo shows over the years. She is a member of 3rd Street Gallery in Philadelphia.
I am attracted to the mass of everyday objects and the moments of space and density in our lives. We as humans fill space and time, both fearing and seeking the silence of interior and exterior spatial environments. We do this on purpose and by default. We fill our lives with dense schedules which result in dense traffic. We seek nature and open sky. We seek skyscrapers and crowds of people. We often have conflicting wants about where and how we want to be in terms of our environments. We have conflicting ideas about how and where we will belong. As I am exploring these themes in my work, I attempt to create questions about the interior self versus the exterior environments of our lives, our abilities to relate in an increasingly digital and distant world, and our sense of identity and belonging.