above: Meg Ha, Join Babe Club, 2019. Oil on canvas.
In April, the interns at the Halsey Institute will be interviewing a small selection of artists included in Young Contemporaries 2020. In this post, Caroline Anderson profiles artist Meg Ha.
In the Halsey Institute’s spring exhibition Young Contemporaries 2020, artist Meg Ha is currently showing two paintings and three film photographs. In a one on one interview with Ha, I sought to find out what inspires her when creating her art. Her painting and photography styles are very unique in color and composition. The process of creating art can be very emotional and poetic. In the creation of all of her pieces in Young Contemporaries, Ha says that her inspiration comes in many different forms, mostly from the people that are closest to her.
In her painting, Ha says that a lot of freedom in her composition and creativity are thanks to her painting professor at the College of Charleston. She says that Professor Peacock from the Studio Art department allowed her freedom in style and composition. This freedom to discover her boundaries in painting led to works such as her pieces Can You Sit Still? and Join Babe Club. She says that Can You Sit Still? came from a figure in her painting class at the College. As for Join Babe Club, she got the inspiration over the summer. While touring with the band Babe Club, Ha found comfort in creating sketches of moments she found meaningful. One sketch in particular titled Let’s Leave it in The Rearview, was created in a car with all the members from the band. Ha remembers that while they were driving, she looked in the mirror and thought of how lucky she was to be able to live in that moment, knowing it wouldn’t last forever. Her piece Join Babe Club was later inspired by the sketch she created that moment from the rear view mirror; a tribute to a moment frozen in time forever of a summer she will never forget and a deep joy of being with the people she cares about.
Ha’s style when it comes to color and composition comes into play in her photography as well as her painting. She loves the medium of photography because she says it makes her feel more connected to the moment she is living in. Film photography forces her to be present and fully aware of the life surrounding her. The figures in her photo Bathroom Fun and angled in a way very similar to her figures in Join Babe Club. Although it is similar to her painting in these ways, her photographs stand out in their intentionality. Their compelling nature and seductive narrative draw viewers in in an intoxicating way. Bathroom Fun encompasses freedom and vulnerability as well as love. Ha says this photo was taken on a road trip with her roommates this past hurricane season. It notes a moment of friendship and deep connection between kindred spirits. In her photo Come Here to Me, Meg captures her boyfriend on a trip to the beach. In their relationship they often use the phrase “come to me.” Both Come Here to Me and Everything to Nothing represent the creative freedom she has found in her relationship and the deep connection she feels with her boyfriend. She says that she is very thankful for her relationship and the fact that she and her boyfriend can bounce creative energy off of each other, always keeping her inspired and making her feel like she has a comfortable place to explore her creative styles and freedom.
Overall, Meg Ha notes that most of her creative inspiration comes from her friends and boyfriend. She says that she finds inspiration for her artwork in important moments that happen in her life. These moments, small or large, have a deep impact on her and she holds them close to her heart as important memories. She finds creative inspiration in the people she loves and the moments they share together. One of the most important things to take from Meg Ha’s style and process is to find inspiration in the moments that surround us all. Notice the little things, and find creative freedom in relationships with those you love.