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Megan Whiteford

b. 1984
Nationality: United States of America
Discipline: New Genres/Social Practice

I am interested in the relationship and distance between the modern human and her/his environment.  As an artist I seek to question the homogeneity that affects our public lives and situations and strengthen the life of local communities by getting people involved with their surroundings and encouraging participants to envision even the mundane aspects of everyday life as opportunities for true growth and creative exploration. Through my multimedia artwork, I hope to find solutions to everyday conflicts by creatively engaging the practices of habits, patterns, space, recycling, meditation, and process.  I am inspired by the subtle grids of Agnes Martin, the drawings and writings of Sol LeWitt, and the conceptual and tongue-in-cheeky installations of Felix Gonzalez Torres.  Buddhism, simplicity in nature, haiku, Du Fu, and meditation all inform the process of my practice. Over the years I have drawn a literal and figurative connections among these practices by exploring the use of the Thread as both object and signifier. By weaving these visual signifiers of my practice, I explore space and strive to challenge the notion of what art can do for physical experience. I work in an interdisciplinary manner, starting with traditional mediums such as pencil and pen, and exploring how such tools can meld formally technological systems into visual investigations of subtlety and power. I then turn these threads of investigation into whimsical installations and performances that give pause to everyday routines of seeing, walking, and simply being in public space, such as installing strings of popcorn down Eastern Parkway in  Brooklyn, guerrilla gardening with handcrafted locally sourced “seed bombs,” and art hidden in abandoned and in-between spaces.  Across disciplines, I use repetition to attempt to understand the seemingly illogical patterns in my world and offer a moment of reflection to the viewer that counteracts the thousands of stimuli he or she is exposed to in a single day. Through my work, I offer people an idea of where to look. It is in this moment of truly looking where we begin to question our relationship to our world and routines, and only then can we attempt change.

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