“Spinning, inverted, specimen,” are some of the descriptions Meg Jenkins has for her new work, exhibited as Tyburn Gallows. The referenced gallows were the destination of the condemned in the seemingly benign nursery rhyme, Oranges and Lemons. Sweet and childishly sung, the rhyme is a dark, dark tale of beheadings, distorted over time and space with which some parallels with the artist’s work are apparent. What was a tale of state sanctioned murder has become a child’s rhyme and what was a Manhattan street scape, a computer glitch, a towering Sydney apartment block, has become the work you see before you. Inversion, reduction, reinvention.
The striking colours, the oranges and lemons, belie that the artist had no interest in colour in her early work yet her clinical approach to form is still exquisitely apparent. This work is powerful not only for its abstract yet identifiable shapes, its strong colours but the presence of form and of story that arises from absence.