Sam Meech is an artist and videosmith. Often collaborating with other artists, he explores the role of analogue technologies in a digital landscape and the potential to fuse the two in production, projection and performance. As the co-director of Re-Dock, a not-for-profit arts organization, he develops projects that explore the ways in which communities interact with digital media, ideas and public space. Born in Huddersfield in 1981, Sam studied at Liverpool John Moores University (BA in Multimedia Arts), and currently lives and works in North West England. His recent projects include: 8 Hours Labour – Rates for the Job (Kinetica Art Fair, 2014), Knitted Digital Football Scarf (National Football Museum, 2014) and Punchcard Economy (Time & Motion: Redefining Working, Liverpool, 2013). In 2010, Sam developed “Noah’s Ark” during a residency at the North West Film Archive in collaboration with poet Nathan Jones (Mercy) and musician Carl Brown (Wave Machines).
A pioneer in “yarnbombing,” Marilène (a.k.a. Marie “Laine”) Gaudet seeks to break barriers between people, fine arts and crafts by dressing elements of the urban landscape in colourful knitted fabric, thereby reappropriating public spaces. She obtained a MFA in Art Therapy in 2011 and a BFA in Studio Arts in 2007, both from Montréal’s Concordia University. Marilène was awarded an Artist-Animator grant in recreation in 2015 and two cultural mediation grants from the city of Montréal in 2013 and 2014. A former member of the Ville-Laines collective, she has exhibited at Montréal’s Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges, at L’Arsenal and at Jardins du précambrien in Val-David, Quebec. In 2015, she held a solo exhibition at Stewart Hall in Pointe-Claire, and recovered the public piano on St. Denis Street, while continuing her street art interventions everywhere she goes.
Sam Meech (UK) in collaboration with Marilène Gaudet (Canada) / Place de la Paix and UQAM Design Centre
Sam Meech presents a series of works reflecting the experiences of downtown Montréalers, and casts a critical eye on the role of the arts in a changing urban environment. Through interviews and a visual search of the Quartier des spectacles, he records the ideas, experiences and iconography of those who live there, and creatively reimagines them in the form of traditional jacquard knits. The objective is to construct an image of overlapping and often contradictory perspectives of the area by revealing its characters, dynamics and social tensions to ask the question: “Where does art fit in?”
At Place de la Paix, the public is invited to participate in Crossed Lines, a reactive knitted wave that visually represents these interviews. People can listen to these interviews from a phone booth, and leave a message; their voices will join the others in the knit on the projection’s facade. All around, banner signs created in collaboration with Marilène Gaudet, feature details taken from the neighbourhood’s iconography. At the UQAM Design Centre, the “knit-movie” This is not a show translates the ideas and experiences gathered during the interviews into patterns, symbols and statements that appear in glorious low-resolution knitted form.