In Conversation with Megan Burridge:


Megan Burridge

Megan Burridge is a Fine Art Painting student graduated from Camberwell College of Arts. In the context of the climate crisis, her work is about reconnecting to our environments and the other beings we share the world with. It is about understanding the web-like structures that link us, in terms of dependency and consequential impact, to everything else on the planet. She considers her relation to the natural world, and how she can re-localize herself to make a greater connection to place, self, and others.

Whether working in oil paint or with clay, her work explores the textural, colour and natural possibilities within the medium. she often works intuitively, as she feels this shows her

connection to the materials and the subject matter she works with. Creating tracings and impressions, her work is a conversation with nature, and gives it a voice. she considers the vastness and at the same time intimacy of nature. Reflecting how her work can show stillness but at the same time movement and growth - a potential for change. We can all be different momentarily but are just at different points of the same cycle of life, and each a part of a greater whole. We are as much the food we eat, as we are the ground our food comes from. We are our environments.

︎: @meganjburridgeart  

Interviewed By Tian Li, 20/02/2023
TL: I really like and am interested in your point of view. You recognize that humans are shaped by their environments as much as they shape them, emphasizing that we are as much a part of the natural world as the food we eat and the ground it comes from. How did you come to have such an idea? What’s your influence or inspiration?

MB: The writing of Donna Haraway, particularly her essays such as Tentacular Thinking in her book Staying with the Trouble, which explores the entanglements of dependency between species and within ecosystems, and the notion that humans are nature, not separate from it. She talks of ‘staying with the trouble’ in the current climate crisis, and the importance of creating and regenerating together rather than individually.

As well as this, indigenous knowledge has informed my thinking of togetherness between species and environments, and a respect of landscapes and ecosystems which provide and support us so much.

An interest in biology and science has made me see things for what they are: particles, atoms, elements; and this informs my vision of both myself, the living things around me and the ground I walk on being different parts of the same whole, or different moments in the same cycle of life.

TL: Since our exhibition theme is about the perspective of non-dominant species and reflects on the relationship between capitalism and nature through a pluralistic narrative approach, we wonder how you think the dominant human perspective has impacted our understanding of the natural world.

MB: I think the dominant human perspective, in terms of the controlling, manipulating and capitalising of landscapes, animals and people is directly linked to the idea that humans are not a part of nature. When we see humans as a part of nature, it becomes harder to exploit and easier to care for. 

TL: How does your work explore the idea of re-localizing yourself to establish a deeper connection with place, self, and others, and what strategies do you use to achieve this connection?

MB: I like to work from subject matter that I have a connection to – familiar textures, landscapes, places or in this case a grounding tree that I see regularly. Creating site specific work, and understanding a place in all its elements is important to me in order to represent it in my work.

My intuitive method shows the connection between myself and paint and therefore the subject matter and myself. I work directly with the subject, and often collect my own sourced materials to work with, like wild clay and pigment. I also use tactile methods of production, such as sculptural clay work or direct relief/ frottage, using the sense of touch to better connect myself to the environment.

TL: Can you describe how your work specifically in this work Transition explores the textural, colour, and natural possibilities of the mediums you work with?

MB: I often use a variety of paint thicknesses to convey a range of textures. The paint in this painting is thinned quite heavily with solvent and this gives a fluidity and a movement which is initially directed by me, but ends with the influence of gravity, allowing the paint to move as it wants to. I like this element of letting go of some control in the painting process and allowing the medium to be itself, as it fits with the idea of relinquishing control and moving away from the domination of the non-human and nature.