Thrilled artist returns for first exhibition
Meaghan Meredith spent eight years working in Sydney’s burgeoning music industry.
She worked double time, growing new talent as a label manager, but that left little room for herself.
Now the artist is taking time for her own gifts, painting landscapes in Byron Bay.
“In Sydney, I was working 60 to 80 hours a week managing a record label, so all my creative input had to go towards helping my artists develop themselves,” said the painter, who works under her married name Meg Walters.
“Now that I’m working a lot less and in a new environment, I can dedicate this time and mental energy towards pursuing my own dreams.”
She returned to Bermuda last week for her first solo show, Ends of the Earth, at the Point of View Gallery in Wellbottom. It sold out.
“Bermuda has always been my first inspiration for painting,” she said. It will always be my home. To be able to showcase my work here for the first time means a lot to me.”
Ms Meredith admitted preparing for the show was tough with a three-month-old baby. She and her husband Simon left the city and bought a house in the Northern Rivers region earlier this year. They had their daughter, Juniper, in September.
“Some people paint as a hobby, which I had been doing, but to really dedicate yourself and change the perspective on how you see the world, you really have to immerse yourself completely in the experience,” she said.
“This year has been a blessing in disguise. We live in the jungle and it’s a completely different shift in perspective and way of living. I’ve jumped on the opportunity to be able to explore painting again.
The works are inspired by a trip to Tasmania the couple took in July.
“I was 7½ months pregnant. We absolutely fell in love with it,” she said.
“Tasmania is incredibly untouched and isolated. It’s largely unpopulated and that’s what really drew me to it. These incredible open spaces.”
The title Ends of the Earth came from that.
“It’s one of the southern most places in the world, the end of civilisation as we know it,” she said.
“After that it drops off into the southern ocean and then Antarctica. I think about people who thought that the Earth was flat. You really feel that way in Tasmania, like you could take a boat and sail off the end of the earth.
“It’s so isolated and has retained this natural quality that humans haven’t destroyed yet. The environment’s really important to me and how we as humans impact the environment around us.
“Ends of the Earth also had an apocalyptic perspective to it.”
Ms Meredith went to Chelsea college of Art and Design in London before transferring to an illustration degree at Newcastle University in Australia.
She said that with her illustration practice she was “replicating something to its true form or shape”.
“It was almost a form of copying and I had learnt to do that very well,” she explained.
“The big shift for me is breaking free of that. Instead of copying what I’m seeing, I’m trying to find my own unique way of viewing the world.
“You have to ask yourself the big questions. It’s a very soulful experience. It’s like holding a mirror up to myself when I paint, something new is revealed every time.”
“I’ve only just started coming out of the baby haze, the fog that descends over your mind when you’re infatuated with this little person,” she continued.
“For a couple of months I did nothing, but now I’ve reinvigorated that daily practice.
“I’ve been experimenting — having fun with my artwork and getting to know who I am as an artist again because it has changed so much.”
She earns money through digital marketing and public relations skills, which were honed in Sydney.
“That’s allowed me to sustain a bit of a life,” she said.
“Living in a city and my life were on this great trajectory for a long time, but then they split. Like a romantic relationship where you just grow apart. Sydney changed a lot in the eight years I lived there. Rent was going up and no one with any artistic practice could sustain living in the city and I knew this was the direction I wanted to start going in.
“Byron Bay is a very different change of pace. A lot of creatives gravitate towards there. Living life in a different way from the conventional. It’s so peaceful and it’s one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been. I feel like I can’t keep up with how much I want to paint.”
www.megwalters.com Instagram: @megwaltersworld