Meredith Starr

Title

Meredith Starr

Artist Statement

Meredith Starr’s projects are attempts to reflect our own humanity back at us. She transforms the mundane ephemera she’s noticed, houseplants she nurtured or accidentally killed, plastic she and her family accumulated in a year, records of how her time was divided as a working mother. The medium of her projects serves the subject-matter. She simultaneously works in analog processes like cyanotype printing and contemporary technology like virtual and augmented reality, sometimes in conversation with each other. Her artworks are often metaphorical or invented landscapes with narratives that reveal relationships the body has to objects, her children, and the earth. They are tactile, immersive and often interactive. Starr uses play and humor throughout her work to make subtle commentary about the state of our ecology, domesticity and gender politics. 
 
Specific artist statements from some of the projects about Meredith's experience as a mother are described below. 
 
Tracking.... depicts a study of the pursuit of ideal uteinizing hormones and estrogen levels for conception. The recording of the daily data output from a fertility monitor attempts to bring humor to an often taboo subject- fertility, by confronting the viewer with the “smiley face” image. An investigation of identity politics, the piece juxtaposes pop culture imagery with the loss of womens’ voices and their reduction to reproductive capabilities in contemporary culture. 

You Have My Attention... We are made of time, and we are bound to time. Time’s elasticity and the significance we assign to how we spend it has confounded and inspired artists and writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges in his mediation on time, and Ursula K. Le Guin in her Hymn to Time. The ability to self track our time with “smart” technology now gives us the ability to trace our hours. You Have My Attention is influenced both by daily data points generated by self-tracking and “The Daily Rituals of How Artist’s Spend Their Time.” These paintings seek to expand the conversation with a visual representation of a working artist and mother’s complicated life, a reflection about its larger patterns and nuanced detail.This project is about careful observation, identity politics and the powerful patterns of daily routine. 
 
 
Every Second Feels Like Left...Printed with the sun, the cyanotypes in this project record brief moments of time outside during the pandemic. The artist observes, and sometimes marvels at, the brutal and enduring activity of the wasps, crickets, cicadas, mice, rabbits, and birds. “Every Second Feels Like Theft” is full of their wings, their songs, their beating hearts and sometimes their torn, broken bodies. It’s also full of the miscellany collected, used, reused, and discarded during lockdown (broken plates; abandoned egg shells; neglected houseplants; scans from medical appointments; forgotten nylons; plastic bags; lawn ornaments) and the ephemera of physical lives (baby teeth, locks of hair, beard shavings, nail clippings). The process of creating a cyanotype and watching the rich blue emerge over time is itself a metaphor for the absurd struggles of the pandemic. Through the artist’s images in Every Second Feels Like Theft, the humor and joy of forced time with family during the pandemic is revealed. The artwork contrasts with and complements poems written by Sarah Kain Gutowski as part of an 82 page manuscript, which puzzles through the sameness and silence of quarantine, the listlessness of isolation, and the slow burn of our changing relationships. Together, image and text reflect emotions the pandemic made more prevalent and more extreme in our lives as mothers: our fears, our anxieties, our devotions, our whims, our regrets, and our loves.

Collection

Citation

meredithlstarr, “Meredith Starr,” Artist Parent Index , accessed May 16, 2022, https://artistparentindex.com/items/show/662.

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