Keeping Room

Keeping Room

March 30 – May 27, 2007

Figureworks, 168 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Keeping Room a full gallery, site-specific installation at Figureworks gallery, which occupies an entire floor of a late 19th century brick row-house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The rooms of the gallery were transformed back in time into a small Victorian parlor, a room which was sometimes referred to as a keeping room.

Tiny Dress under Bell Jar, 2008, NYC subway map, jade glue, glass bell jar
Meridith McNeal, Brooklyn Day Dress, 2007, NYC transit maps & mannequin, life sized

Chandeliers lit the gallery rooms and a few key pieces of furniture allowed the viewer upon walking through the draped entry arch, to feel as if s/he has stepped back in time. Silhouettes of women’s and children’s dresses cut from vintage wall papers and images of ornate period chandeliers on vintage maps were arranged salon style in a variety of period frames. In the windows and between rooms, richly colored drapes held back with tassels revealed delicate muslin sheers. The sheers, embroidered with the thin lines astrological maps, like the work on the wall explore the idea of time and personal history.

Meridith McNeal, Skaters, 2018, cut vintage wall paper and silk velvet, 22x38"

In the center of the larger Gallery a Victorian style doll house mimicked the rooms of the gallery complete with miniature late 19th century dresses made of paper ephemera. Two life-sized dresses (a mother and child size garments) made from contemporary Brooklyn maps inhabited the gallery rooms. On surfaces throughout the rooms were additional miniature paper dress sculptures under bell jars. Keeping Room brought together many ideas that have interested me over the years – history, memory, childhood creative impulses, domestic interior spaces and narrative.