Meredith Elder, Appetite, Mixed media on canvas, 2018
Meredith’s recent works focus on the incubating nature of southern microcosms and the factors at odds within a hot environment. Raised in the south, Meredith explores many of the perplexing and backwards outlooks of the south and how they seem to parallel, if not relate, to the physical conditions. She focuses especially on the cultural expectations that those who identify as women experience, and all the while embraces the southern upbringing as an integral part of identity, whether warranted or not. These paintings intimate inherent struggles many young women have with tradition, sexuality, and religion, and use shape, layering, and found object to reflect complexities of a southern feminist identity. Social pressures regarding careers, family, and faith are often inharmonious with dreams of feminist liberation, and these paintings encapsulate that polarity, all while exploring how those elements are forced to combine in warm climates.