Mei Lein Harrison

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Artist Statement

My practice involves the investigation of themes relating to racial and gender identity, mental health, as well as the dissection of semiotics in domestic spaces. I often use my practice as a way to process the world around me as well as a medium to investigate introspectively. Because I approach the content of my practice in such a personal way, I often perform as a subject across many pictorial mediums, exploring my external and internal identity through the depiction of my own body in my work. With a background in improvisational performance, my work often contains humorous undertones and pays particular consideration to the viewer’s potential interaction with my chosen media. The work I produce frequently contains an amalgam of disciplines, primarily sculpture, photography, and printmaking techniques, to explore these topics.  

Within the process of collaborating and working so closely with a friend this semester, I also felt inclined to create work that I had complete ownership of. I come from a family where the collection and gathering of supplies was a strategy used to protect us from the disadvantages of having a low income, stacks of stuff that wavered between defence and imparement. I have confronted these material ethics and have incorporated a lot of them into my art practice, finding most of my supplies in places where their value, status or desirability has shifted towards waste/refuse. This painting, titled Lost, was created with these close personal connections in mind, both materially and conceptually. Repurposing a box taken from a domestic context, I explore the tension between the information shared and withheld between the members of my immediate family, and the distress our presence and absence in each other’s lives can exert on our wellbeing. 

Moving forward I hope to continue to use my practice to allow me to step outside of myself and view the world, and my interactions with it, through a creative and inquisitive lens.

You can see more of Mei Lein’s work on her instagram pages: @meileinh and @by_me.i