Tracey Morgan Gallery is please to present Rachel Meginnes: Catch Me - Capture, an exhibition of new work centering on themes of loss, love, labor and repair. This is Meginnes’ first exhibition with the gallery.
Trained as a weaver, Meginnes’ mixed media paintings are rooted in the history and structure of textiles. Using discarded vintage quilts, Meginnes deconstructs these once useful objects by cutting into and removing each layer of the quilt. Like a biologist discovering a new species, Meginnes peels back the layers to find original, bright colors hiding in the seams and disintegrating bits of pattern pieces made from repurposed newsprint. After stripping away these details, she is left with a foundational remnants of cotton batting which she transforms into two-dimensional paintings through a process of reconstruction and layering. Using colorful paint and thread she highlights and builds upon original traces of stitching and the evidence of previous makers.
Meginnes’s re-working is apparent in Effective Remedy, 2019. By stitching into holes left after the graphic, top layer is removed, she creates puckers and texture which mimic the unique pattern of the original quilt. In addition, several works such as Aftermath, 2019 and Tell Tale, 2019, include transfers of imagery sourced from her own surroundings onto the net-like structure of found battings and the faded backs of old quilts.
Although no longer working directly at the loom, Meginnes identifies a persistent need to work closely with materials by removing, mending, and adapting each piece by hand. Through this process, she can shift the material’s narrative from one set in the past to one now responding to the present. Meginnes states “By simultaneously paying tribute my source material and displaying my own intuitive impulses, I breathe new life into post-functional heirlooms.
Rachel Meginnes lives and works outside of Penland, NC. She received her BFA from Earlham College and her MFA in Fibers from the University of Washington, Seattle. She is a 2018-2019 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship recipient and was a resident artist at the Penland School of Craft from 2012-2015. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the collection of the Art in Embassies in Amman, Jordan; the Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC; the University of Arkansas, Little Rock; and Fidelity Bank, Raleigh, NC, among others.