The Punk Prints of Meg McWilliam
Meg McWilliam is a young provocative artist from Darlington. She creates art and prints in a punk collage style, inspired by the social realist Dada movement of the 1920s and 30s. McWilliam’s work explores political and social issues in one-lined punchy statements that succinctly capture the activism at the core of today’s youth culture.
Meg’s prominent anti-establishment themes are the driving force behind her collages. Alongside the neo-punk typography sit satirical imagery of certain unpopular characters in today’s government. Sexual symbolism and socialist values sit the centre of her work, with cheeky twists and provocative statements further underlining her message. ‘Happy New Tier Day’, for example, cheekily pictures Boris Johnson celebrating a new tier coming into the uk, with detailed imagery of anti-Tory protest posters on the cake as candles.
Social issues also feature in McWilliam’s work, with feminism at the heart of her output. Responding to the murder of Sarah Everard and the police’s disastrous handling of the subsequent vigil, Meg produced the piece Nothing Scares Men More Than a Woman’s Voice: “[I] didn’t know what to do with my anger apart from make art, to express myself and to express my sadness with the whole situation. It feels unsafe to be a woman and even unsafe now to see how the people who are meant to protect us, view us and our concerns''
Formal protest art has been a feature of our society for almost a century and, given the current state of the world, it’s unsurprising to see that the spirit of the Dadaists and the Punks live on in today’s generation of artists. Two fingers up to the establishment, Meg. Nice one.