Merryn Trevethan is an Australian artist currently based in Hong Kong, relocating in February 2021 after 7 years in Singapore. Her abstracted, hyper- saturated artworks are inspired by the changing nature and structure of cities. She examines how we see, navigate and record our experiences of urban environments. Her paintings, drawings, murals and objects are often layered in site-responsive installations to reflect different modes of seeing, inviting viewers to relate to and be critical of our surroundings.
Merryn graduated with an MFA from Monash University, Melbourne (2005). Recent commissions include a site-specific mural for the Australian Theatre for Young People at their new premises on Pier 2, Sydney Harbour; a digital painting for Henderson Land, Hong Kong and cover artwork for Fran Swinn’s new LP “Old Idea/New Idea”. In Singapore, Merryn created murals for Facebook OpenArts program in 2020 and 2015. She was one of ten artists (and co-curator) of Bus.Stop.Art public art project, commissioned by National Arts Council for Singapore Art Week 2021. Key residencies include Golden Foundation Residency Program, New York (2018) and Red Gate International Artist Residency, Beijing, China (2009). She has held solo and group exhibitions in Australia, Singapore, USA and Hong Kong. She has participated in public art festivals in Melbourne and Singapore, where in 2014 she was awarded first prize for DRIVE - Public Art Festival Open Call. Curatorial projects include Bus.Stop.Art- a National Arts Council commissioned project for Singapore Art Week 2021, Rules of Engagement- a Public Square Programme, The Substation, Singapore (2019) and This Wild Song x Singapore celebrating International Women’s Day at the Australian High Commission, Singapore (2018). She is currently a studio resident at HART HAUS Social Studio in Hong Kong.
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Inspired by the changing nature and structure of cities, I examine how we see, navigate and record our experiences of urban environments. As an Australian artist who has been based in Asia for 8 years, my practice reflects a sense of the mental and emotional disorientation of being between places and attempts to understand my own relationship to both the familiar and unfamiliar locations I find myself in at any given time. My work plays on the uncertainty of perception of my own experience and how our always changing perspectives can shape a constant renegotiation of our relationship to our environment. My work considers the role of memory in tandem with the role of devices and technology in influencing our perceptions of space, time, and colour. My work is an invitation to relate to and be critical of our surroundings.
I counterbalance abstracted architectural forms against hyper-saturated fields of colour in paintings, drawings, objects, and large-scale installation works. Much like the structure of a city where nothing is seen in isolation, my works are often collaged and clustered together, layered to reflect different modes of seeing and experience. I draw colour inspiration from both my local real world, analogue environment, and the collapsed virtual, digital space of screens, while also referencing the often-invisible structures and systems that underpin our cities.
My practice considers the built environment and how we relate to the architectural in negotiating space in urban and public environments. It acknowledges that our relationship to our surroundings is in a constant state of flux, where we mediate a labyrinthine set of systems in which our daily lives have become enmeshed.