Megan Cope is a Quandamooka (North Stradbroke Island in South East Queensland) artist. Her site-specific sculptural installations, video work and paintings investigate issues relating to identity, the environment and mapping practices.
Cope’s work often resists prescribed notions of Aboriginality, and examines psychogeographies that challenge the grand narrative of ‘Australia’ and our sense of time and ownership in a settler colonial state. These explorations result in various material outcomes.
In 2020, Cope presented newly-commissioned work at the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres. She has also featured work in the NGV Triennial 2020, UNSW Galleries presentation for Sydney Festival 2020, in the 2021 exhibition, OCCURRENT AFFAIR: ProppaNOW at the University of Queensland Art Museum and most recently has a solo exhibition as part of the 2021 TarraWarra Museum of Art Biennial.
In 2018 Cope undertook a residency in Paris with the Australian Print Workshop for a project titled French Connections, which resulted in an exhibition at the Australian Print Workshop in 2019, and a tour to Mosman Art Gallery in 2020. In 2018, she also completed several public art projects including Weelam Ngalut (our place) commissioned for the Monash University Museum of Art’s Public Art Walk at Monash University. Her large scale sculptural installations were curated into three national survey exhibitions, The National (2017) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial (2017) at the National Gallery of Australia and Sovereignty (2016) at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.
In 2017-19 Cope was the Official War Artist commissioned by the Australian War Memorial and travelled to the Middle East, resulting in the series, Fight or Flight, held by the Australian War Memorial. In 2016 Cope was also commissioned to create new work for Frontier Imaginaries at QUT Art Museum which toured to Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem. She also exhibited alongside Tracey Moffatt at Artspace in Bereft, a solo exhibition of sculptural and video work in 2016.
Cope’s work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally including at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Gold Coast City Art Gallery; MONA FOMA, Hobart; ARC Biennial, Brisbane; Cairns Regional Art Gallery; Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Para Site Contemporary Art Space, Hong Kong; Careof Art Space, Milan; the Australian Embassy, Washington and Next Wave Festival, 2014. In 2015 Cope’s work was curated into an exhibition at Musées de la Civilisation in Québec, Canada, which also acquired her work for their permanent collection.
Megan Cope is a member of Aboriginal art collective proppaNOW.
She is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.