7th Circle

Meaghan Brooks

Digital Illustration inspired by the description of the 7th circle of hell in “Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno”

“No green leaves in that forest, only black;
no branches straight and smooth, but knotted, gnarled;
no fruits were there, but briers bearing poison.”

-Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto 13

Artist Statement

If asked to draw the human form, how would you do it? Would you draw a simple stick figure with the basics; heads, arms, legs, and a torso? Would you stick to what is universally recognizable? Would you avoid the hands, the feet, or facial features? How exactly the human form is depicted is specific to an individual and their experience with it. This is the approach I take towards my work.
In 2019, I was in two serious car accidents in a span of two weeks. It happened in the midst of a semester at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The incidents drastically affected my approach to my work. It caused me to shift from ceramics to illustration. My work began to be drawn from my experience and inspired by the works of Caravaggio, Bernini, and Dante’s “Divine Comedy: Inferno”, and focus on pieces of less detail. I began representing my new experiences with the human form on a large scale. The daily pain caused by the accident is a constant theme I express through large textures and marks that I used to create humanoid forms. Each form expresses physical, emotional, and mental pain and explores the functions and physicality of a damaged human form. All deviate from the basics traits of the human body into something uncanny and alien. Each piece is meant to convey emotional and physical trauma and experiences through the mark-making and depiction. Pain being experienced in everyday life is hard to spot, not all trauma is visible to the eye. 

Meaghan Brooks

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Vancouver based artist, Meaghan Brooks, has been developing her skills and techniques over the past several years. Beginning her career in ceramics at Langara College 5 years ago, she studied under ceramic artist Alwyn O’Brien and abstract artist Stephanie Aitken until graduating in 2018 and moving on to Emily Carr University. After a car accident, while at Emily Carr, she discovered the opportunities in Illustration and began experimenting. Meaghan has been using the medium to express and explore the challenges and changes in her life due to the incident.