Meighan Ellis is the first artist to collaborate with Euro on what will be the introduction of our four seasonal campaigns. As well as being exhibited in-house, her bold, hyper-real images form part of the new creative direction for the relaunched restaurant over the course of Summer 20/21.
Meighan is a multidisciplinary artist with a background and training in photography. Her work, often incorporating moving image, is distinctively positioned at the crossroads between art and commerce, Tāmaki Makaurau and the world, in a way that is a quintessential part of the modern Aotearoa experience.
Before returning home ten years ago, Meighan lived for a number of years in London, Sydney and Tokyo, where she worked as a writer and photographer for various international brands. She has lectured in photography, design, fine art and research at a tertiary level for over two decades.
“When I was living in Japan, my artistic heroes were all working in both commercial photography and fine art contexts. There was never a separation between the two, it was the same conversation.”
The four evocative artworks selected for Euro’s summer campaign originated from different points in Meighan’s career, dating back to 1998, from an early collection of nudes she made when she was at design school, a SS18 fashion campaign, to a more recent series that looks at the metamorphous from everyday detritus for an upcoming exhibition.
“These images are from my archives, and I think of them as drawings. When I’m in the studio I go through a deliberate process of making images; gathering objects, testing ideas, analysing light, rendering form and beauty and composing still-life assemblages.”
Meighan grew up surrounded by creatives and artists, and along with their extensive collections of curios and fine art, two of her grandparents had large rock collections that she inherited, eventually becoming an avid ‘rockhound’ herself. From an early age, she studied ceramics and printmaking but fell in love with the formal practice and alchemy of photography, with its intensity, immediacy and the photographic image as a catalyst for storytelling and seduction.
“As a photographer, I’m a perfectionist. My image-making process is precise and controlled, especially during post-production, as I exaggerate and distort anatomies or mundane artefacts into a sensual experience.”
These influences and ideas all take form in the bold photographic work that appears in the Euro Summer campaign, with Meighan’s vivid, seductive colour, an emphasis on the beauty of materiality, and her visceral, flirtatious sculptural forms.
“This collaboration with Euro is a unique opportunity to see these images recontextualised in dramatic, unexpected ways and I’m excited a new audience will get to experience my work in this beautiful union of cuisine and art.”
Geometric Nude, 1998
Meighan Ellis is a multidisciplinary artist; with a practice that spans fine-art and commercial photography, moving image, writing and more recently a re-acquaintance with clay after a hiatus of twenty years. She is an avid rock collector, a predilection (and collection) inherited from both her maternal and paternal grandparents.
Residing for a number of years in London, Sydney and Tokyo she contributed to various publications and advertising campaigns, specialising in editorial and fashion portraiture.
Meighan is a Senior Lecturer and the Year One Programme Leader at AUT, where she teaches Communication Design and is represented by Sanderson Contemporary in Auckland. Her photographic and ceramic works have been exhibited in New Zealand, America, Europe, Australia and Japan.