Megan Rea’s practice centres on creating abstracted architectural spaces through the reinterpretation of buildings the artist encounters. Rea focuses on the interplay between the structure of a building and their position within an environment. Isolating and glorifying the configuration of shapes that surround us, Rea reveals aspects of commonly used public areas that often go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Rea begins by building card maquettes based on sketches of architectural points of interest. The models are used as simplified three-dimensional visual aids to emphasise their original design and translate them into twodimensional painted forms on board. Thin washes are gradually built up to create depth and colours which are enriched to further disguise their original identities, mimicking the inevitable changes that occur, much like the process of creating an actual building. This series of work explores sources of light; luminous strips of colour cut across the board, highlighting facades and angles.
The building the House of St Barnabas inhabits has existed in various forms since 1679, and has been a dedicated House of Charity since 1862. Despite this, the building blends into the landscape of Soho and is repeatedly rediscovered by our members and visitors. Rea’s uncovering of pedestrian architecture highlights the position and visibility of the House of St Barnabas within the city, both physically and symbolically, as the knowledge of the work of the charity reaches a wider audience.
Born in 1993, Megan Rea lives and works in London. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2016, following on from her foundation at University of the Arts London. Her work has been shortlisted for the HIX Art Award, as well as RSA New Contemporaries and the Open Contemporary Young Artist Award in previous years.
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