Being an artist means having the opportunity to be vulnerable and allowing yourself the freedom to share your experiences with a large group of people. However, being an artist also requires a lot of responsibility as it is the artist who must share what others might be too afraid to share.
For me, being an artist has helped me navigate my identity and invite others to come on that journey with me. Having grown up around traditional gender roles and growing up in a very heteronormative town, my art has been a tool that I am able to use to challenge all of the things that I once believed were static. Being an artist has allowed me to take risks – whether that be through a performance, a digital piece or a poem. My art gives me a second voice.
From a young age, I found myself gravitating towards visual art as a means of expression and catharsis- to understand myself and to be understood better by others. In high school, it was my favourite subject and it was the only thing I really excelled at. This led me to studying my bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, where I discovered I had an attraction to the intersection of language, bodies and technology. I began making videos, drawings, hypertexts (online click-through narratives on a website) and installations about gender inequality and its roots in gender binaries.
I have now graduated, and I am still exploring my medium, mainly starting every piece with some form of poem, question, or body of text. During COVID-19, my art has been a means for me to document how the world is changing and how I am also changing. My art is quite personal anyway, but during this time I was able to really open myself up and just hope that others can find something in there that they resonate with.
My art explores the idea of softness and fragility, traits which are deemed feminine and equated to weakness. I want to empower the feminine traits that are often seen as less than the masculine traits but had an issue with these traits being assigned to genders in the first place. I like to use feminine imagery and give my work an empowered, unmovable voice. I also love using the internet as a theme and a medium in my work as I feel like the internet is a great place to explore this huge theme of identity because it is so nuanced online.
In my experience, art is both personal and political, just like the internet, really. I personally use art as a mirror which I can hold up to the world so people can have a closer look at what they see around them and scrutinise things that seem to just be part of everyday life. I want people to have to think and then rethink when they see my work- I don’t really care if they like it or agree with it, as long as I can make them think twice. Finally, art is such a powerful way to start conversations with people, and I think that’s what I like the most about it. Not only can I make other people think, but I have also learned so much from others from these conversations, and that’s really crucial.
Find more of Megan’s work: