Growing up in the New Age explores the alternative world of ‘the counterculture’; from communes in the South of France, squatting in South London and ‘free school’ education to the many forays into all things ‘New Age’ set against the backdrop of social and political happenings of the era. Ryley's photographs and texts works have the feel of an 'Alice in Wonderland' psychedelic dream, looking back at the counterculture through the prism of time, recapturing her memories of places, people and events. The work uses the archival to revisit and understand the past, while the image and text works explore the duality inherent in much of the ‘New Age’ and countercultural philosophies, which hope to create both inner and outer states of ‘Utopia’.
Throughout her work there is a strong interest in history and memory both of the individual family and its relation to wider culture. Working with multiple images, grid structures and the book format, she explores the temporal and transient, the indexical and the archival nature of photography. Her still images cumulatively narrate familial and social histories, exiles and returns. The work can be read as sitting between fact and fiction, past and present, the real and the imaginary.
The work has been exhibited at Street Level Photoworks and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. For more information on the project or exhibition visit: www.growingupinthenewage.org
‘Growing up in the New Age’ is published by Daylight Books NY and features accompanying essays by Malcolm Dickson, Brigitte Ryley, Peter Ryley, Val Williams. Additional photographs by Dave Walking.
Marjolaine Ryley is a photographic artist who has exhibited and published her work nationally and internationally including exhibitions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow; Impressions Gallery, Bradford; and The Palacio des Artes, Porto. Her work is held in several major collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Serralves Museum, Porto. Much of her work has explored family photography including her book Villa Mona – A Proper Kind of House (Trace Editions 2006), and Field Study 7 – Residence Astral (PARC 2008), which was published to coincide with the artist’s visiting fellowship at the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC). Ryley’s practice incorporates photography, the moving image, text, and objects to explore memory, history, familial relationships, and archival narratives, linking personal experiences with broader social and political issues. Ryley lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She lectures part-time in Photography and Video Art at the University of Sunderland.
The featured photographer for March 2013 was Marjolaine Ryley