Born in 1993 in Nelspruit South Africa, Megan-Leigh Heilig grew up in Johannesburg, graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor in Fine Art (BFA) in 2015; in 2017 she completed her Masters in Fine Art (MFA) at the University of Cape Town; in 2019 she completed a residency at the Higher Institute of Fine Art (HISK) in Gent, Belgium. Megan has exhibited in the Seven Hills 2nd Kampala Biennale: Virtual Mobilities 2016 curated by Elise Atangana; in 2017 at the International Video Art House Madrid (IVAHM) curated by Nestor Prieto; in the Digital Africa projects between YaPhoto and Open Source curated by Christine Eyene; in 2018 she showed in a group exhibition titled Somewhere In Between at BOZAR in Brussels; the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival 2018; Failures of Cohabitation curated by Daniella Gèo at MHKA in 2019; Feminist Art Prize exhibition held at IKOB in Eupen, 21st Biennial Contemporary Art Sesc_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities 2019-2020, Together at M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp in 2020 for Antwerp Pride. Recently she was a participant in the VISIO - European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images (9th edition) curated by Leonardo Bigazzi and organized by Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival in partnership with NAM – Not A Museum, the contemporary art programme by Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, Italy.
“Megan-Leigh Heilig’s work is confrontational, antagonistic and provocative, but also always personal. It is concerned with political and social realities, which are processed through her own private prism and experience. In this sense, Heilig’s work is both vocal and intimate. Heilig introduces political references in a particular, almost idiosyncratic way. She fictionalizes them, taking them out of their original context and opening them up to a new horizon, where they are given additional layers of meaning, while still echoing their previous context. Consequently, Heilig is able to produce simultaneous, even ambiguous statements in a single work. She blurs the border between the public and the private, the implicit and the explicit, the spontaneous and the calculated. While insinuating that everything is political, Heilig also suggests that everything is personal, offering us a highly critical position that cannot be harnessed to the realms of activist art, one which insists on emotional modes of expression.”
-text by Ory Dessau