What better way to create a thought-provoking portrait of way young people are often portrayed in contemporary culture than to take a whole series of sleazy, not-before-the-watershed images and render them in through a time-honoured craft reminiscent of the Bayeux Tapestry? This somewhat brutal juxtaposition of the sordid with the traditional has the effect of creating a satirical and brow-furrowing reflection of modern society, and Erin M. Riley is leaving no stone unturned in her search for subjects.
And I do mean sordid, too; guns, syringes, bongs, vomit, sex, cars crashing, no topic is too much to be recreated on Erin’s loom. Somebody has to question our perpetual acceptance of modern norms after all. Her series of girls taking selfies is especially absorbing; born from a concern about the way young women are sexualised, or encouraged to sexualise themselves, Erin’s is a caustic comment on the state of gender politics in the midst of tabloid and media frenzy. The sheer multitude of work she has created is astounding, too, and warrants a solid couple of hours of open-mouthed scrolling. Perhaps not when your boss is around though, eh?