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Megan Cope

Studio

Jesse Marlow

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Studio

Working from a home studio is a mixed blessing for conceptual artist, Megan Cope. From late night inspiration to inquisitive chickens, there’s never a ‘typical day,’ or an allegiance to any one material or art form for her.

Interview by Toby Fehily. Photography by Jesse Marlow.

Megan: We’re in a shed out the back of my house in East Brunswick. I’ve been using it as a studio for about three years. When I first came here, the shed was full of six years’ worth of previous tenants’ stuff. So I cleared everything out. Then, when an art school in the city closed down, I got all these drawing boards, which are now being used as walls.

Every now and then the chooks come and say hello. One of them, Nina, used to have a habit of getting up onto the record player and trying to sleep there.

I’d have to come in just before the sun went down and catch her and put her back in the pen.

The dog pops in every now and then, too, and he’s very behaved when I’m making work. As you can see he’s very active when I’m not in there, but as soon as I’m working he’ll just sit down at my feet and go to sleep. He understands. Good dog!

Having a home studio is really good for those spontaneous inspirations that come in the middle of the night. They don’t happen often, but it’s nice to have a space to close to home. The only drawback is you can lose track of time. Often I’ve found myself working until five in the morning.

In an ideal world I’d get up, make a coffee, feed the chickens and the dog, sit inside, put a record on and start working. Unfortunately, I’ve never really had the luxury of just sitting in here and painting and drinking and painting.

I’ve been working part-time at Footscray Community Art Center. So that leaves me with the rest of the week to be a full-time artist. But it all depends on what I’m working on and where I’m at. I guess because of this, I’ve been doing a lot of project-based work at the moment, which is often research-based or site-specific. I don’t have a typical day ever, actually.

I’m not limited to particular forms or material. In lots of ways I’m a conceptual artist and the things that are paramount to or at the forefront of my practice are issues relating to identity, environment, history, politics and, in particular, Aboriginal people’s disposition in Australia. For me, it’s more important that the material most accurately articulates the point of what I’m trying to address or discuss in the work.

– March 2016

Jesse Marlow

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