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Shades of orange going light from the top and darker as it goes down

Meg Ross: Nearest Neighbour

For Meg Ross, inherent to the language of photography is a vernacular of chance. While very deliberate choices may be made – in subject, composition, exposure, and shutter speed, for example – every image represents a threshold, a liminal space encompassing what can and cannot be controlled. Scouring photographs for errors and artifacts of imperfection, Ross enlarges these details, producing colour photographs depicting gradations of soft canary yellow and cantaloupe orange that represent light leaks and scratched emulsion that is stained or aged to various degrees of unfixed-ness, like the accidental photographs taken by a mobile phone with their blown-out pixels from the overabundance of light from a flash. Working in Photoshop, “nearest neighbour” represents the algorithm she uses to resample and then enlarge the prints.

Documenting the tensions at the heart of the very mechanisms of photography, Ross pinpoints information that is both lost and gained in translation from real to represented. Situating the images as at once random and pensive, colour becomes her tool to highlight a doubling that takes place – expressing both the concealed and the sensate, the immediate and the gradual, the ambivalent and the intuitive. Favouring muted stillness over noisy disturbances, the images evoke a cycle. For Ross, they speak to the emotional process of ending at the beginning in the act of creative research. For others, it may evoke the cycle of light – the rising or setting sun.

In Conversation: Meg Ross and José Andrés Mora

Delving into the way text and language shape their artistic impulses in different ways, the conversation focused on the creative opportunities and critical issues that emerge from their investigations of chance, error, and disruption, activating the liminal spaces between digital and analogue through photography and interdisciplinary media practices. Ross’s exhibition, Nearest Neighbour, represents the culmination of two years of creative research by the Masters of Fine Art candidate and is presented at AGG in conjunction with the School of Fine Art and Music.

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Image detail: Meg Ross, A yellow and orange background: Description automatically generated with low confidence, 2022, Epson semimatte photo paper mounted on 3mm Alupanel, 2022, 111 x 88.9 cm

University of Guelph School of Fine Art and Music logo

This exhibition represents the culmination of two years of focused work in the University of Guelph’s Master of Fine Arts program. The Art Gallery of Guelph’s annual exhibition of a graduating MFA student is presented in conjunction with the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph.

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