Tate Kids



Tate Kids Blog



Posted 14 April 2015 by Kat

Have a look at this painting. Does it make your eyes feel funny?

Bridget Riley, Fall, 1963, © Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley, Fall, 1963, © Bridget Riley

When Bridget Riley first exhibited her black and white abstract paintings in the 1960s, people were amazed at how they seemed to move. It was like she was painting with electricity and the patterns were live wires!

This style of painting is known as Op art, which is when the artist overlaps colours and patterns to make an optical illusion. This can make it look like its moving when you move!

Bridget Riley was born in 1931 in London, but when World War II broke out, she left the city and moved to Cornwall. She would walk along the coastline and explore the caves where she would sit and watch the reflections in rock pools. She also liked looking at the sea and how the light made it change colour during the day.

In 1960, she went to Venice where she saw sculptures by the Italian artist Umberto Boccioni. Here is one of his sculptures.

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 1913, cast 1972.  c. Tate

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 1913, cast 1972. c. Tate

Riley wanted to make paintings that had curves like Boccioni’s sculptures, like this one here.

Bridget Riley, Fragment 2/10 1965 © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

Bridget Riley, Fragment 2/10 1965 © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

She also started experimenting with colour, mixing warm and cold colours together, like red and blue, in order to make the paintings vibrant. She travelled to many different countries, like Egypt and India, and looked closely at the way the artists in those countries used colour. She was interested in the way hot countries used very bright colours to stop them fading in the sun.

This painting is called Nataraja and is inspired by a trip she made to India. Nataraja means Lord of the Dance, and refers to the Hindu god Shiva.

Bridget Riley, Nataraja 1993. © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

Bridget Riley, Nataraja 1993. © Bridget Riley 2014. All rights reserved, courtesy Karsten Schubert, London

She thought this painting looked a bit like a dance too, with its diagonal lines and bright colours. Do you think it does? The composition of the painting is quite simple, just a lot of rectangles, but sometimes the simplest things can seem complex.

What do you think of Riley’s work? Do you think you could make some Op Art in Spin or Tate Paint?

Let us know in the comments! :)

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124 comments, Add your comment »

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  1. Bronwen says:

    Can you do some more information and less pictures

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    Could you do some more pictures

  4. Kat says:

    Thanks for your comment! You can see more images on her My Gallery page :)

  5. Ahmad says:


  6. joseph says:

    vevy good

  7. smelly says:

    its so cool

  8. Anonymous says:

    He’ll nah

  9. Hell nah says:

    Hell no

  10. Denisa says:

    i love those paintings and now my eyes really hurt

  11. Denisa says:

    that is so cool

  12. leon says:


  13. :) says:

    really informative, GREAT!!!

  14. :) says:


  15. andrew says:

    i like her painting they look really cool if only she could make some still images i know that isnt her style but it would be nice to see what else she can do

  16. bill says:

    I would like more short facts

  17. the guy says:

    it was so helpful I was using it for my homework

  18. bryce says:

    This was really helpfull

  19. hipeople124 says:

    this is an amazing website

  20. bob says:

    Op Art= OverPowered

  21. Anonymous says:

    The information you have is great but not enough for my school project more information would be great.Maybe more about her background,thing she liked and more about who/what inspired her?????

  22. bonquisha says:


  23. Anonymous says:

    This really helped thanks

  24. emily says:

    thanks for the wonderful information!!!!!It help a little ….:]

  25. Anonymous says:

    great help thanks guys

  26. username says:

    helped me a lot thank you kat

  27. she says:


  28. aaaabruu says:


  29. Anonymous says:


  30. siddiqa says:

    I like these pictures it looks so cool

  31. lilly says:

    plz giv little more detail like how she got famous

  32. Cameron says:

    i think this is so amzing im just so happy right now

  33. An idiot says:


  34. steven says:

    it was so god damn helpful

  35. lilian says:

    great info, really helped by daughters homework

  36. Anonymous says:


  37. lol says:

    this was ok but didn’t help that much but thanks anyway

  38. Anonymous says:

    Can you please put more infomation that isn’t on all the other websites?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Can you give more information than pictures

  40. Anonymouss says:

    Thanks for the information but I don’t really think it’s enough for my school.Could you add more?

  41. Anonymouss says:

    Could you have more information?

  42. Nathan says:

    I really like your style

  43. Amelie says:

    I really like the pictures of Riley

  44. Amelie says:

    Wow I really like Bridget Riley’s op art!

    posted 3rd July 2016

  45. Maddison H says:

    Thanks Bridget Rilrey you helped me with my topic HOMEWORK THANK YOU VERRY MUCH

  46. Unknown says:

    This really helped me with my art homework

  47. Latisha says:

    How does water inspire your work

  48. josh says:

    This helped me a lot.

  49. IDK says:

    Yo should put more facts then this page would be more helpful I only see 2 facts about Bridget Riely and I need three. More facts fewer pictures. :) Good job anyways!!

  50. Julia says:

    It helped my art homework is due in tommorow and I really needed help!

  51. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t find what I needed

  52. anonymous says:

    I love those painting
    I am doing one of them for my art homework

  53. anonymous says:

    I love those painting
    I am doing one of them for my art homework
    I like the nataraja

  54. ... says:


  55. Emskiboo452® says:

    Amazing pictures that make my eyes go funny

  56. Emskiboo452® says:

    Super cool pictures that make my eyes go funny

  57. Homous says:

    epic but more information about bridget riley and her art please
    other wise is is so ccccccccccccccccccccccooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. Pikachu says:

    Bolder and more info about where her work originated from

  59. alys says:

    thanks so much

  60. chloe says:

    add more about her insparations

  61. Shuaib says:

    Helped quite a bit :] Thanks a lot!

  62. ellie ML says:

    Bridget riley is an inspirational artist whom lights up this world of the darkest contrasts

  63. Anonymous says:


  64. Anonymous says:

    Can you do some characteristics on her artwork pls! now…

  65. Rebecca says:

    Loved it

  66. Anonymous says:

    This Really Helped with my homework thanks

  67. Samantha says:

    Shorter facts please but great pics!!!!!!

  68. Vivien says:

    more info please?!

  69. katrin says:

    i need help because I cont speek eanglis

  70. Chloe says:


  71. bob says:


  72. fguydt says:

    couldn,t find what i was looking for. plus it does say kids homework but it wasen,t that helpful

  73. Alix says:

    This really helped, thanks!

  74. lol says:

    ka boooooooooooooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Anonymous says:

    It was informative

  76. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee says:

    It was interesting I suppose .

  77. Mmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee says:

    It was interesting I suppose . I found it quite informative but a bit boring. Just being honest………….

  78. Hayley P says:

    Thank you! I so needed this for my art assessment – thank you for creating this!Thanks again! xxx : )

  79. bill says:

    i still prefer Escher

  80. martha says:


  81. Maisy S says:

    she is a talented person and she is a great inspiration for other people to do Op art

  82. Max says:

    Very impressive.I wish I could do that.I it.

  83. holly says:

    lovely poetic comments for hardworking students!

  84. holly says:

    awesome pics. could do with more words though. lovely.

  85. holly says:


  86. holly says:


  87. bob says:

    thanks for this but it does not help

  88. Thanks says:

    Thanks a lot

  89. Anonymous says:

    I love it!

  90. lol says:


  91. Corran W says:

    Such an inspiration to children studying art at school to come across a talented artist like yourself.
    Incredible what you do. I can be more happy to use your ideas to create my own. Keep doing what your doing because people learn from your artwork.

  92. anonymous says:

    this needs more information and less pics of her art
    this was not very helpfull

  93. shane says:

    nice work

  94. jalimam says:

    good paint

  95. Anonymous says:

    You need more facts.

  96. Anonymous says:

    What materials did she use in herpaitings

  97. anonomous says:

    can u do more info plz

  98. Anonymous says:

    love these facts !!!

  99. Maddie says:

    This greatly helped with my art homework. It had many facts and examples.

  100. Zaimah says:

    I need to know what resources she used

  101. charlotte says:

    I think her work is fantastic I like the way she using illusion and the detail

  102. t cam says:

    this is realy cool make more facts not pictures but this is amazing this is realy fasanating thanks for the pics briget riley is so cool

  103. $DUDE$ says:

    Wow, this information about BRIDGET RILEY is extremely ecstatic and I have really learnt a lot about her. THANKS!

  104. charlotte says:

    I think the painting looks like they are dancing do you?

  105. jamie says:

    her painting are nice. hell yeah

  106. eevvviiee says:

    very cool. liked your facts but the pics gave me headache

  107. eevvviiee says:

    good information . it is cool

  108. tay says:

    good work

  109. Mia says:

    I really love how you have presented the web page it is lovely

  110. Mia says:

    Maybe you could add a little bit more facts about her

  111. harriet says:

    i love your website and the games we are learning about Bridget riley it was great help

  112. Jeff says:

    I think Briget Riley aint the best because it makes my eyes go funny :I

  113. Evie says:

    I lovev all the op art!!!!❤️

  114. Amelia and Emily says:

    We think this is an amazing painting and our eyes feel really funny !!!!
    We love all of the info as well!!!

  115. Jake H says:

    Your Nataraja painting is amazing and I really like fall.

  116. katie says:

    inspirational work

  117. SOPHIE.G says:


  118. SOPHIE.G says:


  119. Abbabanana says:

    The artwork made my eyes spin!
    It was awesome:)

  120. harriet says:

    i love your games

  121. charlotte says:

    I love this website it has given me lots of information for school thank you for making this website

  122. GRACIE says:

    love your work

  123. Gracie says:

    I really enjoy looking at your work, I tried to do something similar and didn’t look anywhere new as good as your.

  124. Rebecca says:

    I really like looking at Bridget Riley’s work. She really makes amazing work by using repetitive patterns.