Westland Place Studios

Heather Meyerratken

I work with found imagery which I find in second-hand shops or which have been passed on to me by relatives and friends. Taking these very specific images and transcribing them onto wire mesh offers up nostalgia by distorting the original subject matter or identity, perhaps allowing the viewer to reminisce. Physically, the imagery becomes pixellated and fleeting.

The wire mesh is a familiar material from my past. I grew up in the outback of Western Australia on a farm and this type of wire was used on the windows and doors of our farm-house as a form of safety and protection from animals and insects. This work, SHOWOFF’s, is a series of CMYK hand pulled, screen-printed images and is a continuum from a prior work, Mistaken Identity. Mostly the images are taken from trans-parencies; however, I began collecting more and more black-and-white photographs, which opened up the possibility to hand colour and paint the images before the printing process. As a consequence, the more I printed, the more painterly they became.

The subject matter references our need to use material possessions and experiences as a marker for success. We generally all have the need to ‘show’ someone by photographing the experience, car, house, etc and never has this been more prevalent than now, with the use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media. Sifting though these mostly retro fifties images, I discovered this pattern has always been around. This need to show off our latest partner, car, child, house etc. had never been more important to people in general than in the post-war boom times. Humans appear to always have had an innate need to show off what they possess or experience in order to perhaps elevate or define themselves.


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