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A dazzling exhibition

25 September 2009 by Lisa

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

I was lucky enough to get to photograph Bridget Riley this week, while she was here for the opening of a major exhibition of her work at the Walker. She was pretty in demand so I didn’t get to talk to her, but Press Officer Laura Johnson got chatting with Bridget who told her how pleased she was with the look of the exhibition. (You can see the final adjustments made to the displays by the handling team on our Moving Stories Flickr set.)

Bridget also talked a little about how she creates her work, describing how she doesn’t always know what her work will end up looking like and that letting accidents happen often takes her in new directions.

You can get more of an insight into the inspiration behind her work in a short video clip on our exhibition page. In the clip Bridget describes how even brief moments when she sees light in a certain way, can be a form of inspiration:

‘I remember one very hot summer, it was in the South of France and I was climbing a hillside of broken shale and the light was so strong that it dazzled. It seemed to come at me from all directions, it was beating down from above and beating back into my eyes at the same time. One lost all sense of focus. Everything seemed to disintegrate in light, the landscape dissolved – it was like standing in a field of pure energy.’

Her paintings are certainly dazzling as a result. Looking at ‘Ecclesia’, it is almost a dizzying experience, but definitely a pleasant one all the same. You can also see some of Bridget’s early sketches that have many annotations around them and show the development of some of her paintings.

See more photos from the exhibition in our ‘Bridget Riley Flashback’ Flickr set and experience these stunning paintings and drawings for yourself, until 13 December 2009.

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