Chris Meek reckons the main inspiration behind his new show ‘Atomic’ is “basically a lot of mixed feelings.” Like the Ramones song, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Chris’s recent thoughts focused on the fleeting nature of life and its experiences and also the nuclear fish in French Polynesia.
“I’ve lost a couple of friends this year,” Chris says candidly as he reflects on his recent works. “I also visited Tahiti this year and I started thinking about the Mururoa nuclear testing and why people would want to kill that paradise.”
Between 1966-1974 France conducted numerous nuclear tests in the South Pacific atoll of Mururoa. While the fallouts from the testing are unclear at best, the affects from these past events were at the forefront of Chris’s mind during his holiday.
“You start swimming in the ocean and you wonder if you’re being affected by the nuclear testing. Or you’re eating the fish wondering if it’s nuclear,” says Chris, adding, “don’t get me wrong the nuclear fish was the best fish I’ve ever tasted.”
Being in French Polynesia, Chris was also surrounded by the works of the great Post-Impressionist artist, Paul Gauguin as well as the ‘gleaning’ practices of the locals.
A colourful personality, there are reports that Gauguin claimed to be an Inca descendent and also referred to himself as a ‘savage.’ A friend of fellow artist, van Gogh, their friendship apparently ended after van Gogh confronted Gauguin with a razor following an argument.
In regards to gleaning, Chris took note of the way Tahitian let nothing go to waste. “It really got me thinking outside the square and turning one thing into something else.”
Reverting back to his old style of using car panels instead of plane panels, Chris has all new work to show for his upcoming exhibition.
ATOMIC – New Works by Chris Meek – Opening Friday 5th December, 6pm-9pm. Exhibition runs from 5th – 21st December @ Studeo Gallery, 21 Cross St. Raglan.