Close Menu

My practice integrates creative writing and abstract pen-and-ink line drawings of varying sizes. The poetry at the center of most of my work is generally very intimate and personal, exploring my, or the speaker’s, relationships to other people, the passage of time, memory, and the self. I systematically translate these writings into drawings through a code I developed. The translation drawings take a step back from the intimacy of the poetry, making the original poems as unknowable as we find any other person before investing effort and time in cultivating understanding. These drawings can be “read” when viewed and deciphered alongside the code that determines the placement of the lines—without which they appear solely as a collection of illegible abstract marks, just as a person’s appearance reveals very little about who they are or what they think and feel. The act of attempting to read the drawings is a metaphor for coming to understand intimate details about the people around us, which we would otherwise be unable to comprehend, through careful observation and time spent with them. Time itself, our relationship to it and its unknowability, is also a subject of my visual work—drawings that explore our tenuous grasp on what time is and how we experience it.

Meghan Cleary - Translation #5
ink and graphite on paper, 2020
Close Menu