The Centre for All Canadians
Blue. 1000 Mountain Rest. (Breath), detail, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 553.7 cm. Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery

Sandra Meigs: The Basement Paintings

Blue. 1000 Mountain Rest. (Breath), detail, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 553.7 cm. Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery
A series of paintings that transform personal experiences of grief into monumental panoramas of swirling line and intense colour.

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery is pleased to present a striking series of paintings by Hamilton-based painter Sandra Meigs, titled The Basement Paintings. The work, inspired by the artist’s process of mourning the passing of her late husband, finds resonance and exuberance in the face of tragedy.

Described as “the most potent work of Meigs’ career” the show features three expansive paintings from 2012-13 that draw from the artist’s feelings of claustrophobia —they are based on her imagination of a subterranean landscape—as well as a number of smaller, complementary pieces that are derived literally from photographs of a family member’s basement. “With these powerful works,” says curator Pan Wendt, “Meigs has embraced a sense of space that mirrors our irrational side, featuring a combination of sinister, chaotic and liberating line and colour. We look forward to showing these powerful, immersive paintings that map an emotional world.”

For over 35 years, Sandra Meigs has created vivid, immersive, and enigmatic paintings that combine complex narratives with comic elements. She derives the content of her work from her own personal experiences, and develops these to create visual metaphors related to the psyche. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Meigs attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Dalhousie University. Now based in Hamilton, Meigs was a dedicated teacher at the University of Victoria for over 20 years, and has mentored hundreds of visual arts students throughout her professorship.

Yellow. 435 Longmeadow. (Insomnia), 2013, acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 1445.2 cm. Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery

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