Dr Megan Keating was one of the Australian artists of the year-long Malaysia-Australia Visual Artist Residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2008. At Rimbun Dahan she created Plantation Nation, a body of large-scale oil on canvas works, which explores the idea of “home” and how we cultivate an environment to ‘ manufacture’ this idea.
About the Artist
Megan Keating was born in Sydney, Australia where she worked in a design studio before attending the National Art School. She holds an Honours degree (first class) (1998) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Art (2002) from the University of Tasmania.
She is a multidisciplinary artist crossing installation, painting, and paper cutting. Her practice explores the nature of extremes. These extremes or conflicts can be seen as conditions and consequences of contemporary living; such divergences include tradition and modernity, beauty and terror, craft and technology, media and reality, nature and culture. Within this forum Keating often uses motifs that nudge at the edge of acceptability such as bombs, military iconography or pornography, which she renders as elegant silhouettes.
She has exhibited extensively since 1999 with recent solo projects including Different Reds, Gallery 4a, Asia- Australia Arts Centre, Sydney (2001); And then there were none… Gowlangsford Gallery, Sydney (2003); In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, 2-28 Memorial Museum (curated by Yaohua Su), Taipei (2006); The Year of the Rat, Xue Xue Institute, Taipei (2007); Deep Water Dark Water, Criterion Gallery, Hobart (2007); and Hard Love, Devonport Regional Gallery (2008). Group exhibitions include Papercuts, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2003); Love Letters to China, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney (2003); Drawn Out, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (2005); Her name is Tan Hua, collaborative performance with Mei Li, Taipei (2006); This Crazy Love, Linden Gallery, Melbourne (2007); Loop, Barry Room Gallery, Taipei (2007); Under My Skin, Asialink touring exhibition to Manilla, Hanoi and Singapore (2008). Keating has also been the recipient of numerous awards including an Asialink Residency to Beijing (2000); Australia Council Residency, Tokyo (2003); Arts Tasmania Research and Development Grant (2003); Australian Council New Work Established Grant (2005); Asialink Residency, Taipei International Artists Village (2006) and Artist–in-residence, The European School, Taipei (2007). In 2008 Keating was the recipient of the year-long residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia. Her work is held in the collections of Artbank, BHP Billiton, Pat Corrigan Collection, Australia, Australian Embassy, Beijing, National Gallery of Australia, Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia, Taipei Artists Village, Taiwan and the University of Sydney.
Keating currently lives and works in Hobart where she lectures in painting and graphic design at the Tasmanian School of Art. In 2009 Keating will return to Tasmania to curate an exhibition of contemporary Taiwanese art for the 10 Days on the Island Festival and the University of Tasmania.
She is represented by Criterion Gallery, Hobart. www.criteriongallery.com.au.
Plantation Nation is a body of large-scale oil on canvas works, which explores the idea of “home” and how we cultivate an environment to ‘ manufacture’ this idea. Images and inspirations have been taken from observations of Malaysia, especially around the locality of Rimbun Dahan whilst concurrently thinking about the issues related to being away from home, what is a home, returning home and trying to establish a sense of home in a foreign environment.