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Name: Meg Fatharly
Instagram: @Printcessmeg

Introduce yourself and what you do.  

My name is Meg Fatharly (@Printcessmeg on Instagram) and I am an artist and occasional writer who specialises in Printmaking and Collage. My work explores surface manipulation through the embossing process and interior and exterior environments with collage and paper. I would say my practice has different strands in how I choose to explore these ideas. 

My work is about engaging in a process and a frame of mind. As a creative I am quite manic at times, and the printmaking process slows me down. It is meditative and it means I can work step-by-step. Similar to my collage process where I am working on piecing different fragments together. Having this focus is really good for me mentally as I am able to lose myself in a way of working and I think this adds to the end resolve of a piece. 

I combine different processes together to build up a narrative. This includes making all the embossing moulds myself, painting coloured papers to collage with all the bits in between. My work is almost an in between state of 3D and 2D, I like to say 2.5D because it has sculptural elements but is overall built up on a flat surface. The important qualities of my work are the tactile nature of it and how I explore the juxtaposition of chaos and calm. Important elements of how my work is built up include process, surface, shape and pattern.

Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?

I have been brought up in a predominantly female environment. I have two sisters who are both creative but in a different sense, one is a writer and the other one writes and sings. I think we have always had our own channel of creative outlets. I was always encouraged to be creative, I studied at Falmouth University (BA Drawing) and was able to really experiment and begin to find my creative visual language.

However, when you have graduated you are propelled back into the real world and the prospect of making it as an artist never really seemed like a possibility for me. I don’t know if that came from my own personal frame of reference or because my idea of a successful female creative was never really in reach. This was back in 2018 and I think even in that short space of time things have changed (and are changing) in the dialogue of being a female creative.

Maybe deep down have I always felt like I’ve had to work hard to be seen? I think it is an ongoing conversation I have with myself daily. When your art and worth are so intertwined with each other it can be challenging to see yourself as a single entity rather than ‘I AM MY ART’…by this I mean when I have moments of ‘I’m not good enough’ I think I need to look inward more rather than just thinking that because this drawing or piece of art felt balanced, that doesn’t mean that I am an awful or rubbish person. My confidence comes from creating my work and it gives me purpose, but I have been trying to find a balance in all of this.

Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why?

Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why? Juliet Gibbs – I first met Juliet at the University and since graduating we’ve supported each other creatively. One thing I miss about the studio environment is having the ability to bounce off each other. Juliet is a painter, and our work has a similar line of interest, botanical structures. She always pushes me creatively and we help each other see our work in new ways. I think it is so important to have other creatives around you that you can talk to, to gain a new perspective on your work.

Olivia Bush – I first connected with Liv through Instagram which has been an amazing platform to connect with other creatives. As a female printmaker it’s been a great space to make friends with people who share the same passion. Liv is a fellow printmaker and throughout lockdown we have had ‘studio phone chats’ every week or so. It has been a lovely time to just connect with someone new. Her work is so fluid and beautiful.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist? 

I think one of the most challenging things is being heard and seen. I don’t think I’ve fully appreciated this as I have always worked extremely hard to get to where I am. By that I mean by not stopping and reflecting. Perhaps I have put too much of myself into my work to be taken seriously with doing my art and only that. Because of the idea of not being taken as seriously and that I couldn’t make a career of it.

If you could own one piece of art, what would it be and why? 

Such a hard question, anything by Matisse, I think. His ability to translate his visual language and adapt through his career is so inspiring. I also find Barbara Hepworth’s writing about her work really thought provoking. 

To shed light on the many talented women artists out there, we bring you a new interview with a female artist every Monday.