The photographs in this collection span the period from 1986 to 2011. Most were made in 2007 or later, and with respect to that majority, all were made against the same background (a small piece of sheet rubber that I modify from time to time using paints, brushes, and other tools at my disposal). All are relatively simple in that they comprise relatively few elements, and nearly all combine pieces of scrap metal with something living or derived from a thing that once lived. Given these incongruent juxtapositions, it would be fair to state that these pictures are surrealistic in style, but it would be gravely incorrect to suggest that in making these images, I attempt to convey some profound, hidden message to the viewer. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I make these pictures solely because it pleases me to do so.” — Norman Riley, 2011.
Norman Riley was born in Munich, Germany in 1954. He currently lives in Bellingham, Washington. His artwork is also in several museums and collecting institutions, including the Museum of Northwest Art in La Connor, WA, the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR, the Fernie Museum in Fernie, B.C., the Lyman Museum in Hilo, HI, the North Cascades Institute in Sedro Woolley, WA, and the Department of Special Collections at UC Davis. He has also been juried into a number of prestigious shows, most notably the Anacortes Arts Festival’s Fine Arts Show in 2015 and 2017, the Clymer Museum in 2015, and in the same year was artist-in-residence at Glacier National Park. Work from that residency was exhibited at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, MT and at the Jansen Art Center in Lynden, WA later that year. His artwork has been published in various magazines and journals.