Megan Powell is an artist, photographer, filmmaker, and storyteller. ‘I use portraiture and cinematography to combine still and moving imagery. I began taking photographs aged seventeen whilst living in a homeless shelter. I used the camera as a survival tool through which I filtered my reality. This provided me with a creative language to articulate my personal experience, establishing a framework to consider the oppositions and interrelationships of ‘Life and Art’.
I utilise narrative to separate my own self from my artist-self, placing my experience into a wider context. I analyse the mythology of the artist, exploring this with a childlike curiosity, rarely resolved and always searching. I aim to emphasise critique over confession, transferring personal experience into a wider, more universal context.
At the core of this exploration is a focus on attachment, connectivity, and patterns of interaction. My work is a process, a narrative, forever being re-written and re-appropriated with each new experience; like utopia, a place of ideals and of nonsense. My narrative is exponential – boundless, and unknowable. My artist self is a vagabond within, oscillating between returning somewhere lost and striving towards a point of congruence. Yet the more I persist, the more elusive it becomes.’
Megan was awarded the open commission for Outrider and her work followed a week’s residency at Winterbourne House and Garden at the University of Birmingham. The Birmingham and District bee keepers association are based at Winterbourne, Megan worked with one of the bee keepers filmed here who also works as a gardener at Winterbourne. Megan produced a moving image portrait studying separateness and solidarity, the individual and the whole.
The viewer is taken through the motions of the hive, captured with beautiful cinematography, slow motion tracking and delicate focus to create a painterly aesthetic inspired by Richter. The portrait shows a world which mirrors interior and exterior patterns. Mediating between reconstruction and staging of beekeeping and the photography of Alfred Watkins.