Artists Stay Home – Jill Meager

Artists At Home has been a feature of life in Chiswick for decades now. The annual Open Studios by artists in Chiswick, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush over a long weekend in June is something many of us look forward to.

This year the artists will be ‘Staying Home’ as opposed to ‘At Home’, meaning they will not be welcoming visitors over the threshold, but they will be selling their work online instead. The Chiswick Calendar will be featuring some of the work of the artists taking part this year over the next few weeks.

Today’s featured artist is Jill Meager.

Raised in rural Scotland, Jill works primarily in response to wildlife – its resilience, its design and now increasingly its vulnerability. She exhibits regularly in London and around the UK and has been a finalist in both the National Open Art Competition and the V&A Inspired By series as well as being shortlisted for the RA Summer Exhibition.

She has designed Christmas cards for Farms for City Children and InterAct Stroke Support, and one of her hares has featured in a Michael Morpurgo short story. Her work is held at the Jane Newbery Gallery, Dulwich and The Ashburn Gallery in Ashburton, Devon. She has recently developed a range of prints, cards and gifts based on the images she has created. Jill trained at Cambridge University and Putney School of Art and Design.

“I have long been fascinated by wild creatures and I feel a strong emotional connection to them. In my portraits, I try to capture their beauty, the profound meaning of their existence and the important and often under-estimated role they play in our lives.

“On my journeys, it has been a great privilege to see hares, hedgehogs, puffins, kittiwakes and many other amazing creatures, but it has also been sad to acknowledge that many of them are struggling to cope in a man-made hostile environment.”

” It’s taken me a while to adjust to a Covid world: I thought it might be reasonably straightforward since as an artist I spend so much of my time alone, but I have missed visiting the wild places that inspire my work and I have missed people and chats and the daily interactions with the outside world that I took for granted. But on my walks, I have sketched ducklings, and so many birds, and have even had goldfinches at my bird table.

I also have a toddler in the house so he has had his portrait painted. As an artist, I am very interested in the fragility of the world – how each living thing is so dependent on a fine balance of circumstances and this fragility seems to be even more prominent at the moment. I hope it is a time to reflect on what we need to take care of in our future world.”

Read More Stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Artists Stay Home – Jasna Bell

See also: Bedford Park Festival goes online