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Audio guide

This audio guide was produced for the Bridget Riley exhibition. It provided assistance to visually impaired visitors.


Transcript of this audio guide

Welcome to the Walker Art Gallery and this new temporary exhibition; 'Bridget Riley Flashback', a major exhibition that tracks the career of Bridget Riley, from her exciting beginnings in the early 1960s to her ambitious and powerful works of recent years. You are listening to an audio description for this exhibition that may be of assistance to visitors with visual impairment and it lasts around four minutes.

  • Gallery layout

Firstly, let me tell you about the gallery layout. You standing just outside the exhibition gallery which is located off to your left through the glass doors. The gallery that is around 20 metres, or 60 feet, long by 10 metres, or 30 feet wide the ceiling stretches up at around 15 metres or 45 feet above you. Wood-strip flooring runs throughout the gallery and there are no major changes in floor height, or steps.

So that' the domestics taken care of, now let me tell you a little more about Bridget Riley and this fascinating exhibition.

  • The exhibition

Bridget Riley is one of Britain's most respected artists, and has achieved international acclaim for her distinctive and optically vibrant paintings that generate sensations of movement, light and space. She made a sensational impact in the early 1960s with her dazzling black-and-white paintings of abstract shapes. According to Riley, her first explorations of geometric forms began with the painting Movement in Squares, which was acquired by the Arts Council Collection in 1962, the year after it was made. She sees a direct connection between this painting and her extensive drawings and studies, and explains that these works allowed her to 'trust the eye at the end of my pencil'.

From her black-and-white paintings, Riley moved to studies in greys, and in late 1960s, she began to 'draw with colour'. As she explains 'you can never see colour by itself, it is always affected by other colours' Over the following decades she has continued to explore the complex nature of colour relationships in painting, culminating in her powerful large-scale paintings of recent years.

Bridget Riley: Flashback is the first in a major new series of touring exhibitions from the Arts Council collection, Southbank Centre. Riley's distinctive and optically vibrant paintings generate extraordinary sensations of movement, light and space. Eight large scale paintings will be on show, with four coming from Riley's personal collection.

Alongside these are 30 drawings and studies that illuminate her working methods over her five-decade-long-career. Many of these will be exhibited for the first time. The Walker Art Gallery also displays their own Bridget Riley painting; 'Sea Cloud' painted in 1981 and purchased for the Walker Art Gallery Collection in 1987. This wonderful painting can be seen in another gallery; Room 15, and if you would like to view 'Sea Cloud' our ever helpful staff will be able to guide you there.

'Bridget Riley Flashback' is open until 13th December 2009.

We hope that you have found this audio description useful, please do enjoy the rest of your visit here at the Walker Art Gallery.