press release

06.02.2020 - 26.04.2020

Megan Rooney is an enigmatic storyteller whose work expands across painting, performance, sculpture and installation. For the artist’s first major solo exhibition in Canada, Rooney will transform a floor of the museum by enveloping it in a large-scale mural, making use of all original walls. This temporary, site-specific environment will become home to characters and scenarios composed from ubiquitous household materials, found objects, stuffed fabrics and paint.

Having spent her teenage years in Markham, Ontario, Rooney’s experiences of suburban North America inform her choice of materials, colour palette and subject matter. Her work explores notions of traditional femininity through the lenses of domestic space, the political haven of the garden, consumption-based societies and the mythological. At the same time, Rooney probes how our bodies are informed by and respond to the environments, systems and inanimate objects that surround us. There is an openness and generosity to Rooney’s practice: she single-handedly paints monumental breadths of wall, knowing full well that her work will soon be erased. This attitude, and the improvisational quality of her murals and sculptures, gives us the sense that we can step into her world and out of our own. Coursing beneath the surfaces of Rooney’s objects are undercurrents of fear, insouciance and a revelry in the tender yet spectacular qualities of everyday detritus. The grace of cheap luxuries transformed, and of all the narratives evoked by things bound by place and affinity.

In March, 2020, a series of performances by Rooney and her London-based dance collaborators will further animate the story her work tells.

Megan Rooney​ is a Canadian artist based in London, UK. An enigmatic storyteller, her work expands across painting, performance, written and spoken word, sculpture and installation. Summoning a recurring cast of characters that expand and contract across ephemeral incarnations, Rooney engages with materiality, the human subject, and their involvement in the present moment, exploring the chaos of politics and the latent violence of our society, whether in the home, in the female identity, or in the body. Rooney completed her MFA in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College in London in 2011, after finishing her BA at the University of Toronto and growing up between South Africa, Brazil and Canada. Rooney’s work has been widely​ exhibited across Europe, most recently at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2019), 15​ Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France (2019), Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw Poland (2019) and The Serpentine Galleries, London (2019). This is the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in Canada.