Thursday, 30 June 2016

Artist: Meryl McMaster + Studio Visit

This week I had the pleasure of a studio visit from Meryl McMaster, who is currently exhibiting her work at the Anna Leonowen's Gallery as part of the NSCAD visiting artist series. Meryl is a photographer who uses the medium for self discovery, exploring how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture.

Second Self

In her series 'Second Self' which is exhibited in the gallery, the artworks reconsider identity through portraiture incorporating drawing and sculpture. The process of making this work is fascinating and goes through a number of steps to reach the finished piece. First, she asks each participant to draw a self portrait of themselves, using a line drawing where the pen is not allowed to be lifted up off the paper. She then recreates these images using wire, which act like a mask when worn by the real person.  

She is inspired by Alexander Calder, who explored the use of wire in his work through sculpture, mobiles and jewellery. I too, love working with wire, and that is perhaps one of the many reasons why I am so attracted to her work. 

I have been exploring wrapping objects with wire as part of my exploration for 222 Grips for a Stone series. 

copper wire, found coal
Jogging Fossil Beach

copper wire, found stone
Bay of Fundy

copper wire, found wood
urban Halifax

As part of an ongoing exploration, I am interested to see what happens to each of these objects when exposed to heat.

I received some great feedback from Meryl when she visited me in my studio and I look forward to applying it to my work.

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