BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH! By Megan Georgia Smith
Exhibitions, Free, RIPE
Friday 22nd July 6:00pm – Sunday 28th August 2022 6:00pm
The Hidden Wardrobe, 92 Old Northam Road, Southampton SO14 0PB
Visit BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH!, our latest RIPE exhibition at the Hidden Wardrobe by painter and RIPE alumni, Megan Georgia Smith.
Megan is primarily a painter. Her large-scale works depict chaotic, overcrowded public spaces, shops, and pubs filled with grotesque, exaggerated figures behaving badly. By amplifying and mocking stereotypical representations of British working-class people and youth culture, Megan’s practice remains critical of these harmful generalisations.
“The overall motif of this exhibition is two-wheel transport, specifically mopeds and electric scooters. This speaks to the ways young people travel around the city and has direct correlation to the traffic on the main road that cuts through Northam (A3204).
I started creating the painting ‘Ride or Die’ during my residency at Aspex, Portsmouth. It relates to an incident I witnessed in the months coming out of lockdown. A group of young lads on mopeds, toppled over one another when riding out of Aldershot. I was driving in the car behind them and made sure everyone was okay. It was my first experience of witnessing a collision, and I have since regarded the incident as a perfect metaphor for the ways in which life can bring about chaos and uncertainty when you least expect it.
The sculpture reflects on how young people are travelling around the city of Southampton. Voi scooters and electric scooters are often marketed as a method of transport that lets you move freely around urban environments in a safe and easy way, in turn, creating green cities that are full of joy – not cars, noise, and pollution. However, these green travel solutions, have been reported to cause public nuisance – in the city of London “between January and June 2021, 258 collisions were recorded” and “a teenage girl died whilst riding an e-scooter after a crash with a van in March 2022.” There are also concerns that e-scooters are being used by criminal gangs. They were involved in 574 recorded crimes in London – including robberies or assaults between July 2020 and April 2021.” This sculpture explores Southampton’s relationship to E-scooters and offers a timely representation to how young people are currently getting around the city.”
BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH! is on display in the windows of the Hidden Wardrobe from Friday 22nd July until Sunday 28th August and is free to visit.