Controlling the Edges: Jennifer Mehigan on Ireland’s flatness, famine follies & its resonance in the history of art for AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast

, 12 April 2022

“The Pre-Raphaelite movement, the Arts and Crafts movement and all these beautiful, decorative movements were happening when everyone in Ireland was starving,” says Jennifer Mehigan, about the relationship between her interest in going back to painting in her practice and her active return to her Irish roots and its histories hidden in the country’s very soil. “I’m really interested in the tension between that and the garden because it’s the place where that is crystallized.” Speaking to editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast, the interdisciplinary artist has been applying her skills as a painter and graphic designer to an increasingly research-based and conceptual practice with videos like “Honeysuckle Joyride” and performance series Creamatorium.

Born in Ireland, raised in Singapore and partly educated in Australia, Mehigan works across media, including 3D modelling, video, and text; textiles, sound, installation, scent and more. She has long been associated with her abstract expressionist, largely digital paintings of queered bodies and fetish objects, while more recent work—including the cover for AQNB’s 2020 compendium, even my dreams don’t go outside—draws on her more material interests in gardening. Since then, she’s immersed herself in excavating and exploring the geological and geographical elements of Ireland’s landscape, alongside her interest in power dynamics and kink, and the anxieties they express in relation to notions of self and identity.

‘Controlling the Edges’ is the latest in our Artist Statement podcast series, with past episodes featuring Margaret HainesCristine BracheRhea DillonTerre Thaemlitz and more. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now:**