Margaret Meehan & Jade Walker | Cloud Shadows
- Opening: Saturday, January 20, 7-10pm
- Exhibition Dates: January 20 – March 3, 2024
- Gallery hours: Saturday & Sunday 12-6 or by appointment
Cloud Shadows is a visual conversation between Margaret Meehan and Jade Walker drawing on years of friendship, shared research and visual interests. In their work both artists comment on how we live our lives and relate to others.
For their 2022 collaborative exhibition Migration, at Arts Fort Worth, they created work that mitigated the distance of their locations during the global pandemic: Jade in Austin, TX and Margaret in Richmond, VA. Through mailed correspondence and packages of studio materials, the exhibition evolved, overlapped, and resolved itself – with each artist finding a way to migrate between studios and across the miles that separated them.
In Cloud Shadows at grayDuck Gallery, the artists continue their exploration of shared interests (femininity, nature, resistance, and acceptance). But instead of a literal collaboration on physical work, this exhibition was predicated on an ongoing dialogue about their intentions. How could they use their years of knowledge both as artists and friends to help the other challenge and grow individually? In addition to emails, materials and texts, Meehan and Walker also shared books and contemporary fairy tales that seemed to hold various human cycles while simultaneously connecting to other (many times wiser) creatures, such as birds and insects, of both this world and an imaginary space.
For Margaret Meehan the conversations, emails and shared packages of studio materials resulted in work that was about watching female friends from across her various lives and from multiple generations. Watching them have children and seeing those children grow. Watching friends try to have children or losing children and watching her own mother age. The new work is about being a(n) (-M)other. It’s about aging female. Sometimes R(aging) female. It's about life, mourning and loss. And for Meehan it’s about having a sense of humor inside it all.
Jade Walker’s textile-based work is infused with expanded materials and color choices, layered with a freedom to embrace her abstract storytelling methods. Her new body of work compares textile patterns, written text, and musical notation as linear systems of communication. Historical female knitters engaged in espionage during wartime, forward-thinking fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin and The Three Spinners, the historical notions of “women's work”, and the ways people all over the world rely on textiles to tell their story and the story of their ancestors have led to Walker’s investigation of how woven materials both hold notions of comfort and communication simultaneously.
Margaret Meehan is an artist living and working in Richmond, VA. Her work is a research-based, multidisciplinary exploration that pulls from film, music, popular culture, folklore, and traditional crafts. She considers the origins of outcasts through their representation – in particular, the tendency for women and societal “others” to be seen as monsters. Meehan’s research includes teratology and medicine, ornithology, the esthetics of cuteness, materiality in high and low culture as well as modes of feminist protest. This all stems from her curiosity about the lines that separate what is protected from what is feared and how gendering plays into these expectations.
Her work has been shown at ArtPace San Antonio, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Dallas Museum of Art, Flowers Gallery in London, Conduit Gallery in Dallas, and Ulterior Gallery in New York. Awards and residencies include the Nasher Sculpture Center Microgrant, Artpace International Residency, The Lighthouse Works Residency, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Residency, the Dozier Travel Grant from the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. Meehan’s work has been featured in the Guardian, Sculpture Magazine, New American Paintings, and Artforum, among others.
Jade Walker is a sculptor and an active member of the arts community living in Austin, Texas. She received her BFA from The University of Florida and her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin. Walker's soft sculptures consist of her personal struggle with spectatorship, binaries within gender and race, abstraction, narrative, found objects, desire, and the body as temporal. Her work has been included in solo exhibitions at the Elisabet Ney Museum (Austin, TX), the Austin Museum of Art (now The Contemporary Austin), Blue Star Contemporary Arts (San Antonio, TX), Dimension Gallery (Austin, TX), Lawndale Art Center (Houston, TX), and The Museum of Pocket Art (Austin, TX and traveling).
Most recently, Walker has completed a Facebook Artist in Residency, participated in a group exhibition titled The Bartlett Project curated by Leslie Moody Castro along with temporary commissions from the City of Austin and Big Medium, a solo exhibition at Women & Their Work (Austin, TX) and a two-person exhibition at Art Fort Worth with Margaret Meehan.