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In her paintings Megan Menzies depicts uncanny moments and situations that have a highly developed sense of atmosphere and feeling. A head on the horizon. A tear in an ear. A hard shoulder in the rain. Her process involves drawing, painting and writing to explore memory, personal experience and storytelling. She often focuses on ordinary moments that have a heavy, melancholic quality, where time thickens and small details are valued and intensified. 

Megan uses colour symbolically. A red cheek pressed against the cool glass of a car window produces a haze of colour, turning an ordinary grey and green motorway landscape pink. The landscape blushes nostalgically and the raindrops that slide down to the bottom of the window glimmer behind the rose-tinted glass.


Megan often returns to the motif of the blushing cheek to explore ideas of heightened sensitivity, emotional vulnerability and embarrassment. She is interested in the psychology of the blush and its relationship with the practice of painting itself – both painting and blushing being complicated indications of feeling. While one is voluntary and the other not, Megan sees both painting and blushing as strange and muddled forms of expression and thinks of each painting as a sort of blush. 

The spaces Megan depicts in her work often have an unreal, dreamlike, illusionistic or cinematic quality. Exploring the translucent qualities of oil paint, layering techniques, superimposition and glazing is integral to Megan’s process and in particular the representation of storytelling, recollection and blushing. She is interested in the act of looking and the different layers we bring to the experience of looking – memory, feeling, identity. By experimenting with form and technique, Megan strives to get closer to the emotional core of the dreamlike moments at the heart of her paintings. 

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