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Photo of a black cat. It has it’s claws attached to 2 peoples clothing and appears to be meowing on it’s 2 legs. They’re in a living room and there are drinks and snacks on a nearby table.

History of Memes

Published: 8 April 2021 Author: Meaghan Stewart

At last year’s Christmas party we were treated to a presentation on memes through the ages. From the original coining of the word, through the seemingly-infinite proliferation of the format. Meaghan’s talk was so informative and entertaining that we asked her to commit it to video. Enjoy!

Meaghan Stewart (b. 1996) lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. She earned a First Class BA Hons from Newcastle University in 2019. She is a studio holder with The NewBridge Project, is currently part of The Exchange and was a member of The Collective Studio (2019/2020).

“At the centre of my practice lies my mother. She exists in the text I write, the videos I make, rarely accepting to being photographed, only existing in the peripheral. Examining the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship, like Louise Bourgeois’s recurring use of spiders and Chantal Akerman’s correspondence to her mother, I do what many artists before me have done. What intrigues me about our dynamic? By digging deeper into the personal, I overshare, test boundaries, continuously inviting the viewer to perceive our relationship.

Inspired by The Everyday and The Domestic, through a research-based practice, I consider the intersection between memory and experience, exploring the threshold between real and virtual; world-building becomes an extension of home-making. Facilitated by landscape, I harness the tools that are video games and other digital realms. The use of collage establishes potential for new narratives, navigating the overwhelming overlap and layering we experience in our everyday lives.

It is my desire that I can offer a tenderness in the act of sharing spaces, especially those digitally, offering a new perspective and finding parallels within the landscapes. The editing process gives me a freedom to experiment; collaging, cutting and splicing, using layering to negotiate memory and space. Moving through liminal spaces, I use texture and sound to elevate and push against the image. Editing is an extension of my search for control whilst bringing together the various realms.”