Skip to main content
Lux OnlineHomeThemesArtistsWorkEducationEducationToursHelpSearch
Artists Artist's home pageArtists essay index page
Andrea PhilipsClick here to Print this Page
Katherine Meynell
Katharine Meynell's work bridges a divide between the overt and politicised psychoanalytic tendencies of 1980s and early 90s post-feminist image-making and an altogether more disenfranchised landscape - that perhaps of today - in which no such recourse to history and theory seems tenable and questions of art's criticality are paramount.

This journey, or rather in Meynell's work, this quizzical dipping in and out of such grand narratives and their lack, has been both clear and prescient in her single screen and video installations since the mid-eighties. In these the artist utilised the skills and techniques of her milieu within the emergent British electronic art scene, exposing the technology at work, returning narratives of voyeurism to the viewer, underscoring the pathologisation of women, their relationships, their sexualities and their bodies (the main subject of her work). But watching the work is uneasy. It is spiky, promptly edited, staging social awkwardness with a sharp humour, and often deliberately over-exposing emotional subjectivity to the point of discomfort. It is, in an unsolicited sense, raw, thriving on embarrassment. As such, the artist domesticates the tools of her trade in order to produce a counter-narrative in which video is quietened as a tool. It becomes simply that medium which is at hand when a certain moment occurs or a certain event takes place. This matter-of-factness with the video camera is paired with a deliberate sense of scenography - again, often raw - in which the artist stages her own life and populates it with other, often mythical and fictitious characters. This staging is also domestic but not in the sense of the overt primal scenery celebrated and criticised by early feminist artists to whom the home/kitchen/bedroom was a place of horror and abjection. Instead Meynell's staging is tender, sometimes faltering, often funny and usually, in the lightest sense of the word, homesick.

Still from Woman in Landscape by Katharine Meynell, 1993/1994
Go to top of                             page