Au Centre de la Terre I, Demimonde, Amberwood House
Demimonde, curated by Slate Projects and Mottahedan Projects, is a group
exhibition of 31 young artists held in historic Amberwood House. Located opposite the Victoria & Albert Museum, the house is the former residence of Dame Margot Fonteyn, prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet. Scheduled for renovation at the end of January, Amberwood House is a unique exhibition setting, with a number of rooms distributed over three floors. Demimonde invites an exploration of the house in its transitional state through a sequence of curated rooms and site-specific installations in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to video and photography.
The French word for ‘half-world’, in the nineteenth century ‘demi-monde’ referred to a social milieu ambiguously located between high and low culture. Demimonde touches on the in-between status of Amberwood House itself, as well as the tension between art and commerce, irony and sincerity, digital and analogue, past and future, process and concept, pop and highbrow which characterises much of
Demimonde includes a show-within-a-show of minimalist paintings in which direct evidence of the hand of the artist is concealed, with work by Alex Ball, Ben Cove,Christopher Page, Lee Marshall, Charley Peters and Nick Jensen. Other UK-based painters in the show include Miroslav Pomichal (Bloomberg New Contemporaries, 2014) and Rae Hicks (John Moores prizewinner, 2014) as well as Ross M Brown, James Collins, Tom Farthing, and Tom Savery.
Three New-York-based artists, all recent graduates of Yale School of Art, are
included in the exhibition courtesy of Mottahedan Projects, with painting by Skyler Brickley and Aaron Gilbert, and Daniel Gordon’s erotic photographs of collaged newspaper sculptures.
Demimonde features a number of large installation pieces, notably Terry Ryu Kim’s partitioning of a room with switchable glass, Egle Jauncems’ cut-fabric reimagining of eighteenth-century portrait sitters, Rosa Nussbaum’s immersive panel-based installation in the garden, Rob McKenzie’s homage to the American desert, as well as site-specific work by Ana Milenkovic and Sean Mullan. Demimonde also includes photography by Nadège Mériau and Robin Friend, and experimental printmaking by Lewis Betts, Michael Iveson and Jack Brindley, as well as a series of sculptures by Peter Çan Bellamy, Matthew Cheale, Pablo Smidt and Adele Morse and a video work by Joel Chima.
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Creativeworks London aims to bring creative people together to explore the issues that impact on London’s creative economy and to facilitate exciting new collaborations.
The residency will provide the opportunity for artist Nadege Meriau to work in an academic environment and address the theme of Home Futures through collaboration with Dr Richard Baxter and the Centre for Studies of Home (CSH), a partnership between Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the Geffrye Museum.
The residency will work towards an exhibition at the Geffrye Museum in 2016. This exhibition and a papier-mâché sculpture involving sound will be planned during the residency. Photographic work exploring domestic futures at the Aylesbury estate and a scaled model of the sculpture will be created. On completion of the residency, the photographs and the model will also be displayed during a pop-up exhibition at the School of Geography, QMUL.
Artists Emma Critchley & Nadège Mériau inhabit the subterranean space of the Regency Town House.
3 - 19 October 2014
Private view: Saturday 4th October 5-8pm
Opening times: Friday - Sunday 12 - 6pm
The Regency Town House basement,10 Brunswick Square, Brighton & Hove, BN3 1EH
Contact for exhibition: 07813 190912
Emma Critchley, Need For Touch ( Still from Video) / Nadege Meriau, Day After Day, (Installation photograph)
'The world is reflected in the body, and the body is projected onto the world'
This simple line comes from Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses , by Juhani Pallasmaa, a writer that artists Nadège Mériau and Emma Critchley have studied and discussed, first as photography students at the Royal College of Art and more recently in the galvanising of Minutes Passing Slowly. Working here in starkly different media both artists investigate the relationship between space and body, and how the one is conditioned by the other.
The Regency Town House Basement is an extraordinarily evocative and pertinent place to site this exhibition. It offers the opportunity of both physical and psychological immersion and locates the timeless nature of the subject matter within its walls, adding another layer to its own particular history.
Emma Critchley’s underwater film work explores human experience, often in states of suspension and stillness. This stasis is unnerving, with its bare boned allusions to the eternal circle of life and death. In her video works a gentle ripple of the water or a bursting bubble relieves the tension, gentle breath echoing in the space. For Minutes Passing Slowly Critchley has developed a new site-specific installation piece, made in collaboration with sound artist zitrone that deliberately plays against the existing interior of the former servants dining room. An alcove extends an empty yet domestic space into an underwater world. Weaving through the space are resonant frequencies of the room itself in the form of sine waves; the interior and body merging simultaneously above and below ground. A new video work also created for the exhibition, Need for Touch investigates the growing hegemony of vision and its relationship with the rest of the senses.
Moving through the passageway, light filters in from an inner courtyard and we arrive at the heart of the house, the kitchen, where Nadège Mériau’s installation, made specifically for this exhibition, confronts us. A wave of rolling, tumbling bread spews from the hearth, encroaching onto the once immaculate floor. Hard, solid loaves brick up an internal wall mirroring the bare brickwork of the walls and languid, pendulous forms, heavy with flour, hang flaccid from hooks and sills. This is bread-making in all its dirty, glorious reality. Heavy with yeast and fat, nurturing and enveloping it exudes its own creative histories. Mériau’s work has long been rooted in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy that the body is the ‘primary site for knowing the world’. Her appropriation of bread making as a medium, both to an end and of an end itself, reflects the physicality of the process of creation and also her own place in the world. She says “It is a weekly ritual through which we inhabit our body, our community, our home and our cultural environment” - it becomes for Mériau the very rope by which she is attached to the world. From the slippery touch of wet dough to the architectural form of a baked loaf all senses are engaged.
Minutes Passing Slowly presents new installation and film works by the London and Brighton based artists, both fascinated by the phenomenological, the investigation of experience. Whilst the references are universal the practices of both artists convey specific personal relationships with their environment.
The exhibition is supported by A Woman’s Place, a project curated by Day + Gluckman, that aims to question and address the contemporary position of women in our creative, historical and cultural landscape. It is inspired by an urgent desire to relocate the simple message of female equality into the cultural fabric of today. Using historically significant venues, commissions and works explores the contemporary position of women in our creative, historical and cultural landscape.
Events: Saturday, 11th October 2014
1pm-2pm: Yeast as Catalyst: Bread making workshop led by Nadège Mériau at the Regency Town House basement. For more information please email: email@example.com
3pm-4pm : The artists will be in conversation with Day + Gluckman on at the Regency Town House basement. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Both events are free but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
The book will feature works by the 11 shortlisted artists alongside outstanding photographs by nominees, that best respond to the theme of Consumption. It will include a foreword by Kofi Annan, Honorary President of the Prix Pictet, together with introductory essays by Slavoj Žižek and Alex Danchev.
After a successful residence for over a year in Deptford, Anarch is roaming and will be occupying 14 Warren Street for Colony, a 16 day programme with daily events by multiple collaborators.
Colony is a temporary takeover of an empty retail unit in the affluent Fitzrovia area of central London. Colony explores the spirit of renowned artist Gordon Matta-Clark underpinned by a small selection of his rarely seen letters on exhibition for the duration. These letters serve as reminders of his character, determination, confidence, sense of humour, and open-armed, forward-thinking method of working that motivates the Colony initiative.
The two storey space will house a new Anarch commission from artist Andrew T Cross / AN-architecture. The architecturally scaled sculpture cuts through the gallery floor, coming up from the basement to occupy the showroom. The large structure, made of reclaimed wood, will inhabit the vacant unit and provide a flexible island to be colonized daily by an invited network of multidisciplinary artists and practitioners: Colony Network. This structure will function variously as studio, seminar / conversation space, performance platform, FOOD restaurant, gallery and as a stand-alone piece of public, urban sculpture.
Colony is a node in the city where a temporary community, Colony Network, will gather together and create a dynamic, chaotic and fun programme on, in and around the functional installation.
Home time: temporalities of domestic life
29th August 2013, Queen Mary University, London.
Mycotopia, Installation photograph, Anarch Gallery, June 2013
Mycotopia was mentioned in Richard Baxter's paper ‘Home futures and home unmaking" :
" Artist Nadege Meriau’s Mycotopia was a deliberately incomplete sculpture, never finished but always becoming. A dwelling made of sandbags, it was home to oyster mushrooms that grew and decayed in the humidity controlled space of the Anarch gallery in Deptford. For Meriau the dwelling was nurturing and self consuming. It was a lived entity that, like the world, was relentlessly being made and unmade.
So home unmaking is an examination and critique of the phrase ‘home-making’(.....)
Home is made, but it is also unmade. The unmaking element is simply the reversal of some dimension of home that had been previously made. If examples of home-making are putting up wallpaper and generating feelings of home, then the home unmaking equivalents are the stripping of wallpaper and dissolving feelings of home. Like Nadege Meriau’s Mycoptopia, home involves both addition and subtraction; home making and unmaking practices"
by Laura Noble, writer and director of gallery LA Noble.
The theme of the Prix Pictet's fifth cycle is Consumption.
The Shortlist will be announced at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris in November 2013, and the Award Ceremony and Finalists' Exhibition will take place at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in May 2014. http://www.prixpictet.com/2013/07/consum…
15th June – 27th July 2013
Private View: Saturday 15th June 4-7pm www.anarch.co.uk
Nadege Meriau is currently working on an evolving, edible and compostable installation to be installed at Anarch over the summer. Creating the conditions for mushrooms to fruit within the gallery.
For her solo show at Anarch, Nadege Meriau will present new photographic works alongside an installation made out of multiple hessian sandbags filled with shredded paper and mushroom spores.
The exhibition will investigate survival strategies on a global and personal level. It will point to the concept of resourcefulness, the ability to change and the necessity to establish physical and psychological boundaries in extreme situations. It will highlight the need for time and introspection as essential parts of the creative and biological processes.
As a response to limited financial resources and her wish to engage with waste issues she is shredding the paper herself from food packaging, newspapers, junk mail, bills and old birthday cards. This daily, repetitive activity of recycling has become an integral, unseen part of the artwork. This performative process of shredding, provokes reflection on the passage of time, food and waste cycle, and the predicament artists find themselves in sustaining their practice.
This new commission is as much about biological and creative processes - the ability to adapt and the possibility of failure - as it is about a specific outcome.
This project is made possible by the support of Anarch and the guidance of Fungi Futures, a social enterprise based in Plymouth.
Nadege Meriau and Deirdre O'Mahony planting potato seeds at The Florence Trust, London. 20-21st April 2013.
SPUD is a new project organised by Deirdre O’Mahony in collaboration with X-PO and with artists Frances Whitehead, Chicago, Nadege Meriau, London and Grizedale Arts, Cumbria.
SPUD provides a metaphorical space for an investigation and reflection on sustainability, food security, changing landscapes and rural/urban relationships. It is a transdisciplinary project involving farmers and artists and will use a mix of documentary film, exhibitions, photography and archival processes to make visible the relevance of rural tacit cultivation knowledge to urban publics today. The process of growing cultivating and harvesting the potatoes in County Clare provides the model for sites in Chicago, London and Cumbria.
Chrysalis , cardboard paper and latex, 2013.
Academy Now Exhibition, Hanmi Gallery, London, January 2013.
Fatma Bucak, Maarten van den Bos, Molly Clare O’Donnell, Nicolas Feldmeyer, Dominic Harris, Hirofumi Isoya, Jamie Lau, Nadege Meriau, Andrea C Morley, Atsuko Nakamura, Sarah Pager, Jess Piddock, Fabio Romano, James Smith, Inbal Strauss, Poppy Whatmore, David Ben White.
Academy Now is an independent annual survey of students recently graduated in fine art to offer them an opportunity to be seen in a non commercial environment following the completion of their art degree.
What differentiates Academy Now from the existing mentoring exhibitions and awards, is that by selecting artists from the UK and other European art colleges, it activates stimulating dialogues between the art capitals offering to the students the opportunity to establish and develop relationships beyond the UK.
Academy Now 2012 in its first edition, includes 17 artists selected in the past 2 years: they represent varied nationality, from the UK, Europe, Middle and Far East.
The 17 artists have been invited to respond to the venue that will host the exhibition: a skeleton of a 1930s six floor building in Fitzrovia where installation, photography, video, painting and sculpture will be displayed for one week only. The building will soon become the headquarter of Heashin Kwak, curator and gallerist, founder of Hanmi Gallery who has generously provided academy noW 2012 with spectacular premises.
At the end of the exhibition an artist will be nominated by the committee members and will be awarded with the Damiani/academy noW Prize consisting in a monographic publication.
Academy Now 2012’s catalogue will be available at the end of the exhibition.
David Bate, photographer and writer.
Ruth Dupre, artist and lecturer at Camberwell and the Royal College of Art.
Dr Silvia Evangelisti, Bologna Art Fair’s director and professor of Art Theory, University of Bologna
Dr Małgorzata Ludwisiak, Deputy director of the Muzeum Sztuki, curator and writer.
Laura Petrillo, Academy Now founder, IKT independent curator, Liechtenstain and lecturer, Bologna.
Ian Rosenfeld, gallery founder and curator, Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery, London.
Dr Margerita Sprio, writer and professor of Film Theory at Westminster University.
"WE IRISH probably feel we know our way round a potato. Boiled, baked, roasted, mashed or fried, we’ve gazed upon the trusty spud in pretty much all its forms.
However, French photographic artist Nadege Meriau, whose work is showing in the Fairgreen Gallery as part of TULCA, portrays the potato in ways seldom seen before. Against dark backgrounds and with dramatic lighting, Meriau’s images of sprouting potatoes are other-worldly, mysterious and visually arresting. Several look like stills from a science fiction movie with alien-looking potatoes posed against what appears to be a starry night sky" Charlie Mc Bride, Galway Advertiser, November 15, 2012.
Solanum Tuberosum (right) and Patrick Hogan's photographs (back), Tulca Festival Gallery
Installation photograph, Solanum Tuberosum, Tulca Festival Gallery
I really enjoyed my time in Galway and particularly liked the works of Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly,David Heffer, Patrick Hogan,Joanna Karolini, Emily Richardson,Kelly Richardson, Daniel Steiffert and Brigitte Zieger.
For more on Tulca's programme http://issuu.com/aidenk47/docs/tulca_201…
David Hepher, Durrington Towers I, 2005, Galway Arts Centre
Exhibiting artists: Brendan Baker & Daniel Evans, Alison Bettles, Anders Birger, David Birkin, Jonny Briggs, Emma Critchley, Helen Goodin, Paula Gortázar, Maria Gruzdeva, Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir, Gemma Marmalade, Marianne McGurk, Nadège Mériau, Vilma Pimenoff, Minna Pöllänen, Martin Seeds, Chloe Sells, Alison Stolwood, Elisavet Tamouridou, Helen Thompson, SeoYeoung Won
FFWE at The Photographers Gallery, 2012.
Curator Karen Mc Quain in Dazed Magazine:
"I have been curating this show for the last five years and for me the biggest challenge has always been finding a way for many styles of work and modes of display to feel coherent in one exhibition. Trying to find the correct pacing of projects, allowing each work some space to breath, and making the right selection of works to ensure the audience gets a strong sense of each overall project within the edit. Our newly renovated building boasts bigger galleries and higher ceilings, it will certainly be exciting to utilise them to their full potential this year. Although challenging the variety of approaches to photography in the exhibition is what our visitors really respond to. It’s why the show is such a great testament to the many different directions in which photography can be pushed." http://www.dazeddigital.com/photography/…
This year's judges were: Bridget Coaker, Night Picture Editor, The Guardian and co-founder of Troika Editions; Anthony Luvera, artist, writer and lecturer, Karen Newman, Curator, Open Eye Gallery and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers' Gallery.
"Perhaps the most surprising work, though, belonged to Nadège Mériau, a Tunisian-born photographer living in London. Her visionary landscapes resemble the apocalyptic paintings of John Martin or those disturbingly viscous medical images taken by tiny cameras inserted into the body. They are actually extreme close-ups of the inside of bread, taken on a large-format camera: a kind of worm's-eye view of buns, rolls and loaves. Mériau also photographs the inside of vegetables and milk with the same surreal sci-fi results. Her "intra-uterine architectures", as she calls them, are utterly singular and a little bit bonkers, but they captivate all the same" Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, 8-7-12 http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2…
Prix Decouverte exhibition
"I very much like Nadège Mériau’s beautifully made close-ups of plain foods lit so that they are only just readable as food. She can make the doughy inside of a loaf of bread into a night sky or an underground cavern or a flow of lava. This is a big contrast to the work of those examining land for traces of what went before. Mériau does the other thing photography has always been able to do, to look at something which meant nothing at all, and invite us to give it meaning."Francis Hodgson, The Financial Times, 13-7-12 http://francishodgson.com/2012/07/13/eva…
"J'ai longtemps hésité devant le travail de la Carthaginoise londonienne Nadège Mériau, photographe de nourriture. Il ne s'agit pas de la pathologie des dîneurs photographes compulsifs, ni de ce festival, ou, pire, des images bien léchées et mièvres de 'photographes plasticiens' mondains photographiant joliment la 'sublime, forcément sublime' cuisine d'un grand chef. Non, Nadège Mériau photographie vraiment la bouffe, de tout près, ses filaments, ses gruaux, ses adhérences, sa pesanteur, sa matérialité : c'est intime, viscéral, muqueux, intra-utérin comme elle dit, ça ne met guère en appétit, certes, mais c'est superbe, mystérieux, dans une double pulsion de dégoût et de fascination, de contemplation et de curiosité (est-ce un potiron, là ? devrais-je en parler à mon psy ?). À suivre." Marc Lenot,Lunettes Rouges, Le Monde, 30-7-12 http://lunettesrouges.blog.lemonde.fr/20…
"Mériau’s interest in our conscious and subconscious notions of dwellings, home and Eden seeks answers in unexpected places. The surreal, visceral landscapes are actually large format photographs of various foods, the lens exploring nether regions we do not think of as possible terrains. The meta typographies of these minute worlds somehow makes us more conscious of our own smallness in the universe. The alien visions are both repulsive and inviting, making the invisible something infinite."Posi+tive Magazine, 12-7-12 http://www.positive-magazine.com/photogr…
"Un dernier arrêt aux créations de Nadège Mériau, Française vivant à Londres, qui fait de l'intérieur d'un pain, d'une courge ou d'une pastèque des paysages oniriques, organiques voire galactiques, véritable vision de l'infini pris au coeur de l'insignifiance." Karveelt, Karveelt in Wonderland, 9.8.12 http://karveelt-in-wonderland.over-blog.…
"Nadège Mériau : voyage dans les entrailles de la matière
Française, vivant et travaillant à Londres, diplômée du Royal College of Art, Nadège Mériau nous fait partager un univers étrange naviguant entre viscéral et sublime. A travers ses photos, l’artiste nous plonge dans les entrailles d’aliments tels que le pain, la pastèque, la courge… L’effet est surprenant, les légumes se transforment en des lieux souterrains, des paysages imaginaires emprunts d’étrangeté. L’éclairage et la photographie grand format subliment les aliments, pour les rendre méconnaissables. L’intérieur d’une pastèque se transforme alors en une grotte sanguinolente, la courge devient une cavité ocre à ciel ouvert dont les filaments deviennent des lianes…" Margaux Buyck, The Artship, 24.8.12 http://theartship.it/home/dlyaivxy/publi…
20th July-15th August 2012
Curator Isabel de Vasconcellos selected four recent works to be exhibited in the Old Stratford Town Hall as part of GLOBAL FEAST during the Olympics 2012.
Artist Talk at the Stratford Old Town Hall
Worldscape by Atmos, Global Feast, Stratford Old Town Hall
"Global Feast is an unforgettable dining experience – a journey through the best of world food, enwrapped by its contours.The centrepiece of the event is Worldscape (atmos), a giant sculptural model of the world 15-metres long, 6 metres wide and over 2 metres tall – an installation doubling as both table and seating.Each of 20 successive evenings during the London Olympics, up to 80 guests gather at the Old Town Hall in Stratford – the closest venue to the Olympic Park - to travel through the cultures and cuisines of the entire world. Each guest dines in a unique part of the sculptural space - sitting on its oceans, dining off its coastlines, illuminated by its cities, enshadowed by its mountains."
I've been selected as one of the Florence Trust artists 2012-2013.
The residency starts in August 2012 and will culminate in a curated group show and catalogue in July 2013.
For more information on the residency go to http://www.florencetrust.org
"Nadège Meriau uses the camera to look into edible things. Here photography constructs imaginary and viscous landscapes. Her point of view is that of the worm, getting into matter. She uses a large format camera to get into the porosity of bread and vegetables. Yet, here, closeness produces distant landscapes that are purely photographic. Her approach reminds us of Gustave Flaubert’s comment on seeing: that the short sighted are the ones who see best because they put their nose into the core of things." Olivier Richon, nominator and head of photography at the Royal College of Art, London.
En tant que photographe nominee pour le Prix Decouverte 2012, je presenterai douze photographies a l'Atelier de Mecanique dans le cadre d'une exposition personnelle avec le soutien genereux de la Fondation Luma.
Le vernissage de l'exposition prendra place le 2 Juillet lors du programme d'inauguration des Rencontres d'Arles 2012.
Je participerai egalement a la visite guidee de l'Atelier de Mecanique et a une projection nocturne au Theatre Antique le 5 Juillet. http://www.rencontres-arles.com/A11/C.as…
My solo show at L'Atelier de Mecanique opens on Monday the 2nd of July as part of the opening program of the Arles Photography Festival.
As one of the nominees for this year's Discovery Award I will be showing twelve photographic works at Le parc des Ateliers with the generous support of the Luma Foundation.
Other related events include a guided tour of the exhibitions at l'Atelier de Mecanique and a screening evening on the 5th of July. http://www.rencontres-arles.com/A11/C.as…
As one of the Brighton Open'11 selected artist, I enjoyed contributing to the exhibition library by recommending books closely linked to my practice such as 'The Spell of The Sensuous' by David Abrams, 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' by Jules Verne and "The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms" by Darwin.
I enjoyed co-leading the Graduate Crit http://www.photofringe.org/?p=2864
and participating in the Wandering Bears Residency http://www.wanderingbears.co.uk/?s=Nadeg…
Exhibition opening at the Phoenix Gallery, Brighton, November 2011
Artists Greta Alfaro, Marie Angeletti, Jonny Briggs, Nadege Meriau, Anne Kathrin Schuhmann, Hitomi Kai Yoda.
"This annual selection of the work of six graduates from the Royal College of Art, chosen with the help of the Senior Photography Curator at the V&A, offers an impressive and varied display(...) Nadege Meriau lights the interior of a loaf of bread so that it resembles the apocalyptic sky of a Baroque battle painting"
The Week, 20th August 2011
Exhibition curated by Nick Kaplony
Artists Marta Bakst, Jyll Bradley, Thom Bridge, Laura Eldret, Nick Kaplony, Nadège Mériau, Helen Pynor, Eva Stenram,
Clare Strand, Karen Stripp, Alexa Wright, Renhui Zhao
Beech House at Core Gallery, Installation photograph, 2011
"Trick of The Light is an exhibition of work by artists who use the particularities of the photographic medium to unsettle or confuse the viewer. It takes its title from a term used to describe the phenomenon where particular environmental conditions lead to the perception of an optical illusion or the seemingly impossible.
As something historically used to document reality the photograph has associations of veracity. Well used terms such as ‘photographic evidence’ and the saying ‘the camera never lies’ are testament to this. While the arrival of digital technology and its potential for manipulation has undoubtedly shaken our belief in the photographic image, even since its advent, the medium has been subverted to throw into question established notions of the world around us. Be this through deliberate deception or as a result of misinterpretation due to the ambiguities of the medium. The artists in this exhibition exploit a broad range of tools available to them, playing with perspective, scale, digital sleight of hand or light itself to engage us by making us question what we see.
Core Gallery itself is an artist led space with a dynamic exhibition programme, which offers the opportunity for invited artists and curators to challenge and explore their own practices. Putting the freshest work from both local and international art spheres on public display, Core Gallery intends to develop the strengths of the existing arts sector in Deptford, by expanding its borders and bringing a wealth of talent and diversity to the Deptford scene."
Nick Kaplony, July 2011
Review of Trick of Light in Artist Newsletter, 2011
SHOW BATTERSEA, Royal College of Art, Installation photograph, 2011
Press: http://www.troikaeditions.co.uk/troikata… http://artcritiqued.com/2011/07/05/world…
“Nadege Meriau's work catches you on an immediate elemental visceral level and pulls you in (...) Suddenly you are looking at pictures that are dealing with the creation of the world. Fire, ice, rivers of magma, rivers of blood, light, darkness, a riot of colour, a journey to the center of the earth.Stepping forward it becomes clear that this is photography not painting, and seconds later the realization that these are not otherworldly subterranean landscapes but intriguing photographs of cleverly manipulated bread and fruit. This spins you off into seeing bread as truly the stuff of life. These pieces show a willingness to grapple with the big issues while maintaining a very healthy sense of exploration.”Gareth Harris.
Harcover,"The first publication of the current photographic and moving image practices of young artists who graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2011" http://blackdogonline.com/all-books/hard…
These works explore the need for a secret hiding place, a space of comfort and safety we can retreat to and gather ourselves.
Cryptic coloration is one of nature’s survival mechanisms, a widespread strategy for predatory or protective behaviour used by animals to hunt or hide.
In human terms, camouflage evokes the boundary between the visible and the invisible, the public and the private, culture and nature.
I am interested in revisiting mankind’s traditional use of camouflage as military and hunting aid as it seems to epitomise the way our society appropriates and consumes nature, often through mimicry.
In the photographs it is not clear if the human figures are predator or prey. The series also points to the predatory aspect of looking and the connections between photography, mimesis and trickery.
“Nadege Meriau’s intriguing photographs bring to mind film rather than the still image. Like David Lynch’s warped vision from the edges of the psyche, they conflate the familiar with the unexpected, even unsettling, to create a dream world where, despite everything seeming right, it is actually all wrong. Drawing on our subconscious imagination, they conjure the apparently impossible with a magician’s sleight of hand, like Elsie Wright and Francis Griffith’s fairies at the bottom of their Cottingley garden.”
Greg Hobson, National Media Museum, 2008
Drawing on psychoanalysis and surrealism my earlier series Mise en Scene depicts the house as a psychically charged space. It is the home of fairy tales where animals symbolise human phobias, obsessions and repressed desires, where mysterious rituals take place behind closed doors.
The photographs are ambiguous narratives where innocence meets darkness, humour borders on the absurd and beauty is tinted with menace.
Some images have been carefully staged with the help of animal handlers.
However unexpected the scenes may be they were all enacted for real, with live animals leaving the outcome of the work less controllable and allowing ‘natural’ behaviour to become part of the underlying narrative.
The series also explores the boundary between image and reality through trompe l’oeil scenarios where wallpapers, murals and fabric patterns enter a dialogue with main foreground subjects.
Representations of the natural world in the domestic and urban environment are examined and juxtaposed with live beings and vegetation so as to bring out the underlying tensions between the imaginary and the real.
Snails ( Mises en Scene ) , Lambda Print, 76 x102cm, 2005
The Hunter ( Mises en Scene ), Lambda Print, 76 x102cm , 2005
Moonlight Feed ( Mises en Scene) ,Lambda Print, 102 x 76cm, 2007
Peeping Child ( Mises en Scene), Lambda Print, 41x51cm, 2006
Butterfly Stairway ( Mises en Scene), Lambda Print, 51x61cm, 2007
Spider Phobia ( Mises en Scene), Lambda Print, 40x50cm, 2008
Concrete Jungle ( Mises en Scene), Lambda Print, 41x51cm, 2008
SCHWEPPES PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2005
“There are many arresting images in this third year of the Schweppes Portrait Prize. Not least among them is Nadege Meriau’s portrait of Maya (pictured), an image that fronts the publicity for this annual award.
In it, the young girl holds what we assume is a pet rabbit (which was, in fact, hired for the shoot) tightly to her chest as she crouches in the corner of a garden. She wears the slightly unsettling, penetrating gaze of a child, yet the physical awkwardness of adolescence is just beginning to creep in.”
Fisun Guner, Art Review, Metro, 2005