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Marjolaine Ryley: My life through a lens

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Published on 05 December 2019

Marjolaine Ryley
Marjolaine Ryley

For more than 20 years, artist Marjolaine Ryley has told her own stories, and those we all share together, through the lens of her camera.

Now 92 photographic works, covering the University of Sunderland Senior Lecturer’s career, have gone on display.

The “This is What I See” exhibition is currently running at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, based at the University’s National Glass Centre.

Through her intensely personal images, writings and artefacts, Marjolaine tells her own story in the hope that others can connect to the life journey she has taken.

Every topic which touched her – and our own lives – is covered from family, to relationships, to pregnancy, loss and parenthood.

In part of her work, Marjolaine takes us back to her childhood. Growing up in a squat in south London, the young artist witnessed first-hand a counter-culture side of life that would influence her work for years to come.

In later works, including 'The Thin Blue Line, The Deep Red Sea', Marjolaine would charts her heartbreaking journey through several miscarriages.

In more recent years, the artist has brought alive her personal sense of attachment to the environment and nature.

She said: “Over all these works I evoke different times in my life and how experiences during those times have shaped me.

“I show not only how I connect to what has happened to me, but also how I connect to the world around me.

“When I stand back and look at this exhibition, over the career I have had, I feel proud that I’ve been able to tell these stories and make these connections.

“I hope that when people see these images and artefacts they can in some way relate to what’s happened in their own lives, and on their own journeys.”

‘This is What I See’ also includes an entirely new series of photographic prints and writings that has taken three years to bring together.

The exhibition runs at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art until February 3, 2020.

Follow Marjolaine on Instagram: Marjolaineryley