I am an artist, writer, educator and visual historian living in San Diego, USA. I have a PhD in Historical Studies (South African film and the representation of landscape during apartheid – see Research and Publications on this site) and a Master’s degree in Fine Art, both from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  Before this, I completed an undergraduate degree in Fine Art (specializing in painting), and a Higher Diploma in Education (specializing in teaching art), both also from UCT.

A significant period in my post-MFA career saw my involvement as principal researcher on the digitization and online publication of the Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd archive of /xam Bushman folklore recorded in later 19th century Cape Town, a globally accessed project headed by Professor Pippa Skotnes at the University of Cape Town. I contributed a chapter on /xam views and experiences of the Bushveld landscape in a well-received, scholarly hardcopy publication on this archive edited by Professor Skotnes. (See Research and Publications on this site).

My recent interests (both research and art-making) include film and landscape with a historical focus. My themes and subjects include international colonial, cinematic and peri-urban spaces and institutions (such as the expedition, the museum and the diorama), the imagining of the ‘frontier’ in the history of visual and written culturelandscape and history specifically historicized landscapes using archival imagery as a source, and animals (wild and domestic) as avatars for human life and behavior. In past projects I have also made work exploring emblematic portraiture (painting and staged photography), domestic interiors/objects and still life. My preferred media are drawing and painting (oils and acrylics), and staged photography.

boer fighters


Simulacra: Constructing Narrative in the Studio Tableau

Documentation and commentary on the body of practical work submitted to meet the requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Art, at the University of Cape Town, 2002 Eustacia Riley MFA dissertation The content and form of the work completed for this degree is intended as a narrative.This narrative is constructed to tell stories … Continue reading