Artist Meg Harder expresses herself in several mediums: sculpture, installation, printmaking and collage and the theme of nature resonates through much of her work.
“A connection with the natural environment has been a consistent, irreducible joy in my life,” says Meg. “I use art to voice my eternal connections to and reverence for the natural world.”
Part of her portfolio includes installation pieces which she acknowledges can sometimes be tricky for people to understand. But she says there is no right answer with art, so people should have some fun with it. When she finds people confounded by a piece, she encourages them to think about what it reminds them of or what they would think if they passed it in the street. “As soon as people realize they don’t have to be afraid of interpreting art and they can use their own experience of the world to do so, it doesn’t seem so scary.”
For an installation or sculpture project, Meg starts with a concept and then determines a unique visual way to express that. For her mixed-media pieces, she will start with a scrap of text, image or object that inspires further exploration. “I often use foraged and recycled materials because they are easy to come by and the concept of treading lightly in the world is a frequent theme throughout my work,” she says.
While Meg has done a lot of politically engaged pieces, she says, “I also make art for pure aesthetic pleasure, without worrying too much what it means.” As a young artist building her creative voice and as someone who “struggles to get my ideas out in words,” she considers her art successful if her audience appreciates or understands her visual cues and symbols.
You can catch Meg at Kwartzlab, where she is currently the artist-in-residence and at the Kitchener Public Library. “Stop by and I’ll show you how to use the 3D printer or point out my favourite art books,” she says.
P.S. Meg’s favourite topic of conversation: Swapping knowledge about awesome people, places and events in KW.