Meagan Streader studied fine art at university, but says most of what she does today wasn’t informed by her time in the classroom. Instead, she learnt through years of collaborating with other artists, designers, fabricators, and producers.
Meagan’s current practice really began when she started indulging in what she calls her ‘escapist mentality.’ ‘I wanted to dream new realities,’ she explains. ‘This spilled into installation and sculpture, which eventually led me to experimenting with light and its effects.’
The artist’s talent landed her a three-month residency in New York City a few years back, where she experienced the enchanting works of prolific artists like James Turrell, Dan Flavin, Stephen Antonakos and Mary Corse in person, and realised her creative path was somewhere in the ‘realm of light and space!’
‘Light is a medium that has highly transformative and sensory qualities,’ Meagan says. ‘It gives me the freedom to totally transform space, or create out of this world spaces for exploration, escape, and contemplation. Working with light sometimes makes me feel like I am working with magic.’
Meagan’s pieces range from epic, large-scale installations to smaller, layered sculptures. She works intuitively from her Carlton North studio and often uses emotion and sensation to guide her mesmerising creations. Each work calls for a unique combination of techniques and materials including neon lights, LEDs, fluorescents, lasers, electroluminescent tape and reflective materials like glass, acrylic, and metals.
‘I start with drawings and sketches. I have journals full of my scribbles and creative fantasies,’ Meagan says.
The final pieces can take weeks, months, sometimes even years to be realised and are created almost entirely by Meagan. ‘I am mostly self-taught and use CAD and 3D modelling software to develop renders, components, finishes and spatial walkthroughs,’ she says. Even technical processes like glass cutting, soldering and 3D printing are done by hand in the artist’s own studio!
Meagan says it can be a ‘very repetitive and tedious’ process, but the joy of seeing her works come to light, literally, makes everything worth it.
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