I am an interdisciplinary artist, working across the field of Live Art & contemporary performance; devised theatre, site-specific, durational performance, installation, video, one-to-one, photography and socio-political practice. My practice pays close attention to memory, identity, human relationships, the rewriting of narratives and often invites participation and exchange between myself and audiences, seeking to blur the relationship between performer and audience, space and situation in order to open new spaces of thought and exchange.
As an artist I predominately work with autobiography as a way of exploring aspects of the human experience and how my own experiences translate and transform when shared with an audience. My practice overall is a contextual life enquiry – I am interested in my embodiment of liminality and intersecting identities and how these can be activated as a political site of radical agency, action, healing, empowerment and possibility.
Much of my current work examines, self care, self love, self reclamation, self representation, and self realisation, through the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality. Often taking my own lived experience as a starting point, extensive research & collaborating with artists, academics and non-artists, forms a key part of my creative process.
Hartley was an associate lecturer in BA Theatre at Falmouth University (2010 – 2013) and was a visiting artist lecturer for BA Theatre: Performance at Plymouth University (2012). She has delivered various training in devised theatre, media and performance and site-specific performance. Recent projects include The Genetic Body Series (ongoing) Look No Further (ongoing) Untouchable (Flying Solo Festival, 2016) Descansos (BUZZCUT 2016) My Brothers Father (Domestic II hAb Arts, 2015) RECALL (SPILL National Platform 2014 & Showcase 2015) SPIT KIT (Fierce Festival 2015, Steakhouse Live, InIVA 2014) Matilda and Me (UK Tour 2014) The Representational Body (2014)
Ria Hartley is a fellow of Birmingham Open Media (BOM) and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)