Lesley Riley

Juried Artist Member (JAM)

Cascade, MD
United States

Artist Statement
My lifelong fascination with the unknown stories behind the faces in old photographs drives my artistic practice. My portrait quilts tell stories comprised of fragments of fact, insight, and memory. Like a quilt, these fragments are stitched together to illustrate and preserve history.

I work with old and new materials and techniques to create a timeless mix of classic and modern styles, often with a graphic quality. The many layers and textures found in my collaged quilts mimic the narrative and hidden layers in people's lives.

Using digital copies of 19th and 20th-century public domain photographs, I use software to digitally edit, restore, sharpen, resize, and often colorize the images. My current work focuses on civilian contributions in the Civil War. Extensive research inspires and guides me as I interpret these stories, both boldly and subtly, using photographs, textiles, composition, and color, in addition to leaving my mark with hand-stitching, painting, and dyeing.