I have been thinking of piles of items for quite a while. There is evidence in some of my recent work of this; I’m still not done exploring piles of objects. This piece came from a photo taken outside of the Prohibition Taproom in Philadelphia, one of my favorite places to grab a drink. I painted the landscape from the photo and then sat with it in that state for a few weeks. I thought perhaps I would hang shoes from the wires – as one sees all over Philly, but that felt like a simple answer to the problem of the painting.  Finally I decided to put a pile of shoes on it, as if one didn’t mark territory by flinging shoes over a wire, but rather with a large pile of shoes instead. People would have to collect a lot of shoes and pile them up places – which in turn would have a much less subtle affect on the landscape.

From Prohibition at Night by Heather Riley

From Prohibition at Night
Oil, graphite and charcoal on canvas
3 x 4 feet