The Heavy Collective: Friday Fry Up With Meg Porteous

In 2016 Meg Porteous was selected as one of ten artists internationally to attend the Shiro Ono Artist Residency in Japan. The works in Departure Melody, produced during this time, continue the artist’s exploration into daily life and contemporary culture.

An interest in Tokyo’s train lines and obsessive note taking inform Porteous’ most recent body of work. Each day, Porteous would post new notes on her wall–scenes, thoughts or situations imagined–forming a storyboard that she would then go out and shoot. Interestingly these planned photographs often failed visually, and remained more successful as an idea or text. The successful images more often came from chance encounters and personal responses to the present moment. Sitting on trains for hours each day, she would continuously hear Departure Melody over the speakers, the song that plays each time a train departs to its next station. Seen together, these images can be read like a visual melody or poem.

The idea of going elsewhere and the ephemeral feelings and impressions of experiencing something new is at the core of these works. With an interest in romanticizing small gestures—sushi hands, golden fish, girl by the river—Porteous imbues new places and things with a significance they would have otherwise lacked.

Departure Melody opens on Friday, August 4 from 5.30—7pm at Parlour Projects 306 Eastbourne Street East, Hastings. Visit for more information.

Meg Porteous (b. 1991, Taranaki) thematically explores the often-overlooked or seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life through her lense. The focus of each photograph is often an insignificant or indeterminate place or subject that acts as a vehicle or transition point to other moments in time where movement or action actually occur. Shooting primarily with 35mm film, and employing flash and cropping techniques, Porteous’ practice celebrates anachronistic forms of photography. Her intense observation of daily, quotidian life urges the viewer to consider what may or may not go unnoticed.

Porteous graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury in 2013 Majoring in Photography. She also studied at the prestigious Nova Scotia School of Art and Design in Canada. In 2016 Porteous was selected as New Zealand’s recipient of the Shiro Oni Studio Artist Residency in Japan. She has exhibited in Christchurch, Canada and more recently in Hawke’s Bay. Her work is held in private New Zealand collections. Meg is currently based in Auckland.

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The Heavy Collective: Friday Fry Up With Meg Porteous