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Artist Meagan Streader Brings Worlds To Life In Epic Light Sculptures

Studio Visit

Meagan Streader’s light-based art practice was born from her love of dreaming new realities. She explores the sensory qualities of light through her epic installations, which have been showcased in galleries across Australia and MONA’s iconic Dark Mofo festival in 2019.

The colourful structures are ephemeral and complex, bringing imagined worlds to life with the flick of a switch!

29th July, 2022

Step inside Meagan Streader’s Carlton North studio, which has been overwhelmed with lights, reflective surfaces and her creations! Photo – Anne Moffat

Haze by Meagan Streader. Photo – Anne Moffat

‘I can’t just dive into things – my works require a range of technical processes,’ Meagan says. This includes laser cutting, CNC routing, glass cutting, soldering and 3D printing! Photo – Anne Moffat

Left: Mediating between two desires (orange, mirror) by Meagan Streader. Right: The work in progress. Photo – Anne Moffat

‘I’m currently working out of a short-term studio in Carlton North. I love how central it is, but I’d also love to be in a bigger space one day!’ Photo – Anne Moffat

Left to right: A moment of descent, Mediating between two desires (pink) and Slight by Meagan Streader.

Christina Karras
Friday 29th July 2022

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.

Meagan’s new exhibition, This space of vibration, opens at MARS Gallery on August 3 and closes August 28. 

MARS Gallery
7 James Street
Windsor, Victoria

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net