The decisions I make as an artist explore and express my life experiences as a person with a disability. Roland Barthes states that photography creates a new space-time category called “having been there”. Through photography I am interested in exploring where I have been in physical, emotional, and historical space. I not only seek to examine the spaces I have inhabited, but also break open new space for more complex conversations about disability to emerge. As a disability culture advocate I believe in the importance of sharing multifaceted experiences of disability; and the ways that disability can be a marker of identity, knowledge, and pride.
With unconventional photographic techniques I elevate the mundane and highlight the beauty of an alternative experience. I utilize photographic processes that will result in failure, imperfections, and that highlight impermanence. Embracing happenstance, I reveal the beauty in these seemingly visual tragedies.
Megan Bent is a New England based artist, teaching artist, and activist. She received her MFA and Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2012. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2004.
Her artwork has been exhibited widely across the United States in exhibitions at the Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, The Vera Project, Seattle, WA, The East Hawaiian Cultural Center/HMOCA in Hilo, Hawai’i, Flux Factory in Long Island City, NY, El Museo Cultural, Santa Fe, NM, and the Piedmont Council for the Arts, in Charlottesville, VA.
Megan has been an artist in residence at the Honolulu Museum of Art and has been a featured community exhibitor in the Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, VA. She has presented her work at The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity in Honolulu, HI, at Other Bodies: (Self) Representation, Disability and the Media at the University of Westminster in London, U.K., and was recently a presenter at Critical Junctures at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.