Marjolaine Ryley: Growing up in the New Age at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 June 2012
A photo of a young child standing on rocks above a waterfall in the countryside
© Marjolaine Ryley
Exhibition: Marjolaine Ryley: Growing up in the New Age, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, June 23 – September 8 2012

Having children has made Marjolaine Ryley feel that her own upbringing – within an “alternative universe” of free schools, squats, communes and camps – is “impossible” for the generation growing up today.

That sounds like something of a lament given that her memories of the Kirkdale school she attended in London (where free schools were unusual) centre on the happiness pupils gained through rural freedom.

“My own photographs feel increasingly like one enormous archive collection,” she concedes, confessing to being a “notorious hoarder and collector.”

“They ultimately seek to capture the ever-changing world around me, as well as looking back through time and history. I am attempting to bring to life a snapshot of a vanished history, both personal and social.”

Shortly after Ryley began this project, she discovered the work of Dave Walkling, a photographer whose monochrome images frame the squatted house where she grew up within the spirit of the era, original black and white prints from the 1970s which, Ryley says, have a “dual fascination” as both physical objects and a “window through time”.

Objects, letters, clothing and memorabilia enhance the sense of a counterculture which led to and influenced all sorts of movements, from punk and rave culture to environmental protest, critical mass and good old flash mobbing.

  • Open 10am-5pm (except Sunday). Admission free.

More pictures:

A photo of a pair of battered dark blue slippers on a carpeted floor next to a bed
© Marjolaine Ryley
A photo of a white tent rising towards the sky under the green leaves of a field tree
© Marjolaine Ryley
A photo of two sculptures of mushrooms with red and white coloured heads
© Marjolaine Ryley
A black and white photo of a young hippy family in a garden of thick grass outside a house
© Dave Walking
A photo of a multitude of wellington boots inside what looks like a shed
© Marjolaine Ryley
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