Exhibitions & Collections > it’s too heavy, not now...

Megan Gray
Artist Talk

My work is my presence and my thoughts, and I invite the viewer to feel this weight I am expressing in my installations. Through the exploration of scale and materials, I investigate metaphorical, physical, and emotional weight using sculpture and installation. I ask the viewer to examine the ways in which they consider weight within their own world by creating work that challenges our initial perception of weight while navigating through the installation of works in assorted sizes and textures. Weight being physically weight of how heavy something is, or emotional weight of how heavy an event can weigh on your soul or mind. The work remains non-objective, leaving an open-ended question for the viewers to finish.

The physical presence of the work appears large, cumbersome, and with a heavy physical presence, but if one were to pick it up, they would not expect the lightness of the work. There is a fine line between reality and materiality. This begins to create a sense of balance and tension. The work is contradictory while also being steadfast.

Through this balance and tension, I invite viewers to contemplate the weight on view. Contemplation of the emotional understanding of weight that can be a heavy event, a word in passing, an action or anything on oneself. Allowing the viewer to become empathetic, allowing themselves to feel the chaotic but soothing atmosphere. Utilizing layering in my work to translate weight to the viewer this concept can be translated differently to each viewer. This process requires patience; not being able to continue until the last layer is finished forces me to be in the moment with the pieces, adding to their emotional weight. During this process, pieces become unique and gain characteristics and personalities. I learn what compliments them, while avoiding their unfavorable attributes. I get to work intuitively, listening to the subtle hints of the form and making necessary adjustments.

Materiality is important and a consistent theme through my work as a sculptor and an artist. The choice of materials and how they are used are very intentional. I am considering how the visual materials appear compared to how heavy they become through layering. Most of the work is entirely of foam, while allowing notes of other materials to highlight the form. Through physically light-weight materials, I can create fluid and unexpected forms that present a gravitational illusion through suspension and at eye level in the full round. Through the exploration of various sculptural methods and materials these processes facilitate the expansion of my visual vocabulary surrounding the idea of weight.

The color pallet is familiar. Cool tones became my identity early on and I continue to connect with them. The decisions for color choice during the process fully depend on the piece that I am working on, allowing it to control my decisions.