Merryn Trevethan

Return to Ruin Nation

Ruin Nation... (detail) by Merryn Trevethan Exploded Cities #2 (detail) by Merryn Trevethan Floating Cities #1 (detail) by Merryn Trevethan

Fox Galleries is proud to present Return to Ruin Nation by Singapore based artist Merryn Trevethan. Collapsing space and intensifying colour, Trevethan’s urban landscapes delineate the impact of technologies on perception.

As John McDonald writes:

‘Since moving to Singapore in 2014, Trevethan has become fascinated by the image of the 21st-century global megalopolis. In big Asian cities, the skyline is constantly evolving, a skyscraper forest lit up at night like an amusement park. On the outskirts of town, millions of people cluster in high-rise apartment blocks.

Trevethan captures the drama of rapid urbanisation expedited by the digital revolution. Her floating cities are science-fiction dystopias which seem to be born not from simple need but from our growing immersion in virtual reality.

Using a mixture of acrylic painting and digital printing, Trevethan’s works suspend clusters of tall buildings against abstract swathes of colour. The effect can be hallucinogenic, especially in a print such as Ruin Nation (56cm x 100cm; edition of five, with one artist’s proof), where cityscapes mirror each other. The mixture of detailed imagery and planes of colour reflects not only the city but the network of circuits and wires that keep it running. It’s a vision of contemporary life as a labyrinth in which we are so embedded that we’ve stopped looking for an exit, and in which a surfeit of information makes it increasingly difficult to be sure of anything’.



2005 Masters of Fine Arts (By Research) Monash University, VIC AU
2002 Bachelor of Fine Arts-Painting, Honours (1st Class) Monash University
1997 Bachelor of Fine Arts-Painting Monash University, VIC AU



2018 Artist in Residence at Sam and Adele Golden Foundation of the Arts Residency Program
2018 NPE Art Residency Program, Singapore
2016 Facebook Singapore, Partner Centre Murals, Singapore
2015 Facebook Artist in Residence Program, Wall Painting Summer Commission, Singapore
2015 DRIVE – Open Call Public Art Prize – 1st Prize WINNER, Singapore
2015 Artist in Residence, ART WEEK, GEMS World Academy, Singapore


Stillscapes, NPE Gallery, Singapore
Abstraction Twenty Eighteen, Five Walls Projects, Melbourne
Wyndham Art Prize 2018, Wyndham Art Gallery, Werribee, VIC

Apertures, Yeo Workshop, Gillman Barracks, Singapore
Provable Falsehoods (solo), Fox Galleries, Melbourne

The Party’s Over… (solo), Atrium Gallery, Australian High Commission, Singapore
Of Colour and Light- Victorian Abstraction, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Melbourne


Merryn Trevethan Return to Ruin Nation