Taking to the water is a deeply substantial part of our collective histories and modern existence.

Mea Duke is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work implicates our political and economic relationships with the global shipping industry and environmental impact of maritime operations. Duke grounds her interdisciplinary practice within the negotiation and navigation of unregulated spaces. The false sense of security, greater (natural) powers, our need to harness those powers, the dangers we work around and the damage we return to the environment embody the challenges, dangers, triumphs, and absurdities that come with the territory.

The more one uncovers the relationship and materiality between works, the more Duke’s interests are revealed. Within this context, Duke finds the principals of displacement, buoyancy, and perception to be most communicative and motivates her to create a humorous exploration between the lines of “painting an object” and “painting as an object.” Rather than make this statement, Duke finds it more satisfying to ask further questions and point out these moments in our everyday lives. 

Duke received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Rhode Island. She holds her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Duke is currently a teaching assistant at Harvard University in the Department of Art, Film and Visual Studies. Duke has also held positions as a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow at Tufts University and an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Montserrat College of Art.

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Gallery Representation: V.S.O.P. Projects