Strange Familiars

Meg Shaw



Meg Shaw paints to explore the psychological forces in human relationships. Her interest is in the shift of power dynamics based in our physical relationships with each other. She’s had a lifelong interest in narrative work and its ability to capture the broader truth in the articulation of a single moment. She reflects on the state of being clothed, or not, and how it changes power dynamics based on gender, age, and body type. There is an uncomfortable interchange between exposure, expectation and being observed.

Shaw uses colour relationships to consider the specific emotional spirit of an interaction. In this body of work, she uses bright colours contrasted with pure black to explore the balance of joy and malevolence. She uses fantasy to explore personality and mood, and constructs patterns to build on that feeling.

Shaw’s work is a response to the feeling that it’s wrong to be at home in her own body- that she’s too masculine, too comfortable with herself, not guilty enough over her flaws, while she also acutely feels all those things. It’s an untangling of the experience and consequence of growing up female.

Shaw uses a variety of techniques ranging from ink and watercolour illustration to large scale expressive oil painting to sculpture. The work is united through a mythical approach to the figure, the exploration of intimacy, and an emotional approach to colour.


​Meg Shaw is an artist based in Vancouver, BC, originally from Lakefield, ON. She graduated with and Hon. BA from the University of Waterloo in 2003, and a diploma in Commercial Animation from Capilano College in 2007. She has spent the bulk of her career working in the Animation and Games industry, with most of that time spent working at an indie games studio. She has taught in the Capilano University Animation department. In 2020 she returned to her personal painting practice. This is her first solo show in over 20 years.

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THIS Gallery acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

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