Spotlight on the Flatfiles:
Meridith McNeal, A Portrait of My Mother
Mother sets the stage for us. She encourages, pesters, creates opportunities and provides the space in which we become ourselves. Once our mother is gone her objects and her space become something more than mere objects. Look carefully, they have become Magical Things.
Magical Things, my ongoing series of watercolors, venerate the easily overlooked objects of everyday life: paperback novels, a thermos, a pencil sharpener. Mundane objects become totems, Milagros—charms of mindfulness, imbued with a power greater than the sum of their parts. Several months ago, after my mother died, I began a trajectory of this work Magical Things From My Mother’s House.
Included in A Portrait of My Mother are portraits of objects that belonged to my mother, Brenda McNeal. Most are depicted in my own Brooklyn home; in their new surroundings they become both memorial and useful objects.
Also on view are larger Windowphilia pieces, the last of my artwork which I discussed with my mother. Inside/Outside: London (Violins), spurred her to reminisce about the music store in Fall River, MA which she frequented with her grandfather. When Bren looked at Inside/Outside: London Windowphilia (Records)she recalled with humor my nursery school days in London when I related after school with consternation: “Mommy, they don’t have records here. They have reCORDs.”
During this exhibition we will hold a Sunday Soiree, a pot-luck feast amongst the art to honor my mother’s tradition of gathering friends for witty, intelligent, art-filled fierce conversation over good food. Join me and you too will become part of the magic.
Meridith McNeal is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator, curator, arts administrator and hula hooper. Meridith has been a frequent Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. Her work is represented by Figureworks Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
In 2017 Meridith presented three solo exhibitionsInside/Outside Windowphilia, Figureworks, Brooklyn, NY, The View from Hereat FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and In Reflection, Torre Truglia, Sperlonga, Italy. Also in 2017 Meridith represented Sperlonga Italy in the renown Fabriano Paper Festival. Her recent curatorial efforts include In Our Nature, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Natural Causes, 107 Bowers Gallery & Art Space, Jersey City, NJ and Good Natured, St. Joseph’s College Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. She is on the artist advisory board of Kentler International Drawing Space and has served on the Artist Committee of Coney Island Museum; and the Curatorial Committee of the Brooklyn Public Library.