Profile piece by Lee Escobedo in the June issue of A+C Magazine
Bye Bye Blue tells multiple versions of an erased and reinvented past. Using the legend of Olive Oatman, a young girl whose family was massacred in 1851 as a starting point. Meehan’s translation focuses on Oatman’s infamous blue tattoo as a pattern reflecting ever-changing morals and cultural taboos on a scarred American landscape. Was she a captive slave of the Mojave tribe or a cherished member of her Native American community? Oatman’s past is unknown and malleable before her return to White society where becoming an instant celebrity she shared her story on the lecture circuit. As an adult she started over yet again marrying a wealthy banker, adopting a daughter and living in Sherman, Texas until her death in 1903. With sound, collage and sculpture Meehan examines the porous borderland between civilization and savagery where loss and longing intertwine.