Megan Hay | Untitled

"Untitled"

Throughout the past two years, I have been collecting vintage photographs. The content of the photographs contains everyday situations: a dog playing in a backyard, an old house, friends hanging out, or children playing at Christmas. The selected photograph for this work displays a man standing in a kitchen. This photograph is part of a series done as part of the same concept. These photographs have been forgotten, and these moments have been left behind. With this series, I wanted to revive forgotten moments in the form of painting. Although these paintings are recreations of the photographs, my experience and perception of these events are different from those shown in the photographs. I strive to interpret my connection with the scenes and individuals depicted in the photographs by physically expanding them onto paintings, and imparting my personal interpretation in the form of my chosen brush strokes and textures while maintaining realistic composition and colour schemes of the original photographs. After re-articulating the photograph into a large-scale painting, I then create another painting of the same photograph, with no reference imagery. The second painting is based solely on memory. The photographs represent an accurate physical depiction of the events, while the final paintings represent how our memory shifts with time, and how our perception of life’s happenings differs from those around us. No matter the event, and no matter the individual, our memory differs from experiencing the actual event. The final paintings could not have existed if not for the original photographs, the first paintings, and the subsequent recreation process. Similarly, our conscious experiences are all shaped by the physical events that occur, but our memory is continuously shaped by personal factors and our perception of these events.