In preparation for her newest body of work, The Giants,
Meigs sat inconspicuously in a corner of Victoria, British Columbia’s
Inner Harbour for two consecutive summers observing the scores of
tourists that pass through it on a daily basis. As they strolled,
pointed, and snapped photos, Meigs drew character studies of these
leisure bodies. Back in her studio, she enlarged and transposed her
cartoons to panels using watercolours in a soft palette of yellows
and greys. Each portrait is assembled from a number of tacked-on
components: fabrics dyed in similar colours become idiosyncratic
fashions of these boardwalk denizens, and painted glass spheres capture
their bug-eyed stares underneath flip-up sunglasses and
broad-brimmed hats. Words floating above and behind their heads suggest
preoccupying primal thoughts: buy, eat, look, nap.
Once completed, each “combine” painting was photographed and
reproduced as a digital print near its original scale. Meigs
then excised the “dead space” behind her constructions to create
cutouts that deviate from the conventional square format of
photographs (and painting for that matter). While each print
effectively flattens her forms, their taut shapes return them to objects
Tacked to the wall without frames, each of The Giants mirror the tourists’ transitory movements and their fleeting presences
in the harbour.
Upstairs, a trio of videos titled Three Places present a pub, a fishing cottage, and a crawl space with intense intimacy.