Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meg Williams, until July 5, Melbourne Art Rooms, Melbourne

Meg Williams is an artist worth looking into, her latest exhibition is at MARS, Melbourne Art Rooms. For more information on this exhibition Click Here

Young Wilson, 2009, oil on canvas, 50 x 65 cm

Small World : Paintings by Meg Williams

What is it about toys that holds such appeal for artists? Are they vehicles for neurotics to act out unresolved childhood troubles? Are the baby-boomers using them to retrieve their lost childhoods? Generation Xers use them to deliver ironic images that seem to evolve from collecting Star-Wars figures. As children we all acted out our fantasies with toys and perhaps, in giving ourselves permission to imagine again, artists tend to revisit that familiar world.

Meat Tray, 2009, oil on canvas, 45.5 x 61 cm

I don’t know why I started collecting toys. They could be worthless and broken but they had to have a certain look and I haunted Camberwell Market looking for figures with this essential quality. Eventually I had so many that they were bypassing the mantelpiece and going straight to the attic. It was a relief when the compulsion burnt itself out, though the need to paint the toys remains. I still go to Camberwell Market hoping to find interesting objects to paint, usually as props to go with the toys.

The Conversation, 2009, oil on canvas, 54 x 66 cm

When I set them up and light them I can believe that my toys are alive and up to something, just as they were when I was four years old. I love the hit-and-miss way they are painted that leaves them stuck with wacky expressions that suggest that each toy has a full inner life. I look at them with the kind of sympathy that one feels for the subjects of a Dianne Arbus photo; they are innocent pawns in a game of which they are unaware.

The Journey, 2008, oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm

Some time after I have finished a picture I usually realize what it is really about, and it’s generally something quite serious, but I never know its purpose at the time of painting. It’s a message sent to me from my unconscious, via the toys.

-Meg Williams

In The Real Art World thanks MARS for permission to reprint the artist's exhibition statement.

1 comment:

danadpatterson said...

Really appreciate your last paragraph about not really knowing what a painting is about until you see it after completion. I start painting seascapes that turn into canyons (sometimes). This used to bother me quite a bit. I am not so frightened now.

Thank you for sharing your insightful experience with the mysterious process of artmaking.