The Fold Heads

8 paintings, acrylic on panel, mixed media, gobo light

About The Fold Heads

Take Babe (Fold Heads outcast), for example. A squarish white canvas with a little horizontal shelf jutting out at a 90-degree angle from its lower edge, it carries two widely spaced blue eye-like marks up top, with a length of blue silk gauze falling from what looks like the mouth. Call it comic minimalism. Despite her humble physical properties, Babe exudes Grace Kelly appeal – that wide, pillowy brow, that debutante blue, that graceful, semi-transparent spill to the floor like an elegant exhalation. This is innocence calling out for a convertible and the Cote d’Azur, beauty primed for vestal martyrdom.

When question about Babe’s outcast status (this work was displayed in the office at Susan Hobbs rather than in the main gallery space), Meigs says, “Maybe she was just too balanced to fit in with the other.” She’s the only one with right angles; a little too pure, a little too fully frontal, perhaps, to fit in. “Maybe I like her to much,” Meigs adds. “I think of her as very expressive, with that big flow of fluff coming from her mouth. She’s definitely communicating, but I don’t know if I’d say she’s happy.”

Babe is one of nine distinct personalities that Meigs has conjured from the merest of materials. She had a system. First, she developed the series of shaped white canvases, deciding on their forms by experimenting with folded paper prototypes. “I wanted to explore how painting could explode out of the frame,” she says, “to get out of that space between the viewer and the picture plane.”

While the results may appear simple, the degree of character revelation through form comes as a delightful shock. Meigs describes Ever So, for example, as “a blond with a flippy thing going on,” alluding to the hank of yellow cloth that falls from the painting’s lower left edge. (The title comes from “something Marilyn Monroe said in How to Marry a Millionaire,” says Meigs.) The profile of Gotta Go culminates in a bloodied scarf dangling from a long sloping nose, its diagonal arch redolent of snobbery. In Feelin’ Lo, the canvas support is folded vertically like a book. “I saw that angle as being like a complete container,” she says. “It’s so shut in on itself that it becomes something melancholy.” The colour choice blossomed from that. “Purple,” she says, “in inherently mournful.” Two long pieces of fabric extend to the floor: lavender lamentation, gravitas through gravity.
— Sarah Milroy, “Eminent Victorian," Canadian Art, June 1, 2010,