IF IT WEREN'T FOR YOU I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE LED A MEANINGLESS LIFE





100 x 70 cm Pixel Drawing and text printed on perspex
Exhibited at 'Sugar', Tactic Gallery, 2014.



In her digital drawing, If it weren't for you I would probably have led a meaningless life (2014), McKeown considers the impact of romantic relationships on her own sense of self. The quote itself is borrowed from Garnet/Dagger, a character from the popular computer game Final Fantasy IX, and is uttered at the end of the game as she attributes her accomplishments and growth as a person to the love and guidance offered by the male protagonist and love interest, Zidane. In combining her self-image with this quote, McKeown offers both a uniquely modern and vulnerable approach to self-portraiture. In sorbet shades, McKeown depicts herself in her underwear with a self-conscious arm pressed against her stomach. Simultaneously, there is sense of laying bare and of restraint; of wanting to reveal but equally, of uncertainty and perhaps, fear of revealing too much. Yet, in picturing herself directly alongside this textual fragment, she positions herself against the cultural stereotype perpetrated not just by computer games, but by TV, film and literature alike, that women must be 'saved' by a hero in order to be fully realised. Ultimately, she asks the viewer to consider the validity of that narrative, not just for her, but for themselves also."

- Kathryn O'Regan, 'No Girl So Sweet: An Introduction to Sugar'