Blogging Blaffer

Meet the MFAs: Meredith Cawley

As Blaffer prepares to open the University of Houston School of Art 38th Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition on April 8 (reception 7-9 p.m.; member/VIP preview 6 p.m.), we’re highlighting artworks by each of the dozen graduating and exhibiting artists along with his or her catalog statement. Next up is Meredith Cawley:

Meredith Cawley, Landscape for a Wasp (detail), 2015. Found stained foam, makeup, spray paint, cocoa powder, country time lemonade, country time strawberry lemonade, flour, polyurethane and a wasp. 36X48X36"
Meredith Cawley, Landscape for a Wasp (detail), 2015. Found stained foam, makeup, spray paint, cocoa powder, Country Time lemonade, Country Time strawberry lemonade, flour, polyurethane and a wasp. 36X48X36″

I was raised by a hoarder who placed importance on the care or neglect of an object, and has influenced my way of ascribing meaning to “things.” I believe that humanity can be understood through the way they treat objects: through both the things they choose to keep, and by the things they throw away. I empathize with these objects more that I do the people.

Through materials and scale change, and interplay between items I manipulate objects to better understand human behavior. I like breaking down things to their most basic elements in order to study and understand them. By analyzing and categorizing the remains of these elements I seek to understand what makes an object precious. I hope to gain understanding of people through their need for things and the better I’m able to break these things down the more I understand about people. This idea of there being a link between people, things and place has me focusing on landscapes and the way humanity has altered the landscape. I’m interested in what happens when these forms are blended together as one.

By contrasting handmade organic items with altered found structural objects I create a set. A facade environment filled with equally false items. In this work I explore and exploit the fakeness of things, the venire of fantasy, and the preservation of fakeness. I am concerned about humanity’s materialist behavior and its influence on the environment.







Contact

Phone: 713-743-9521
Mailing Address: Blaffer Art Museum
University of Houston
120 Fine Arts Building Houston, TX 77204