“The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of things; they just make the best of things.”
Meg Bullock, a third-year Fine Art student at Winchester, is an inspiring individual who has given me a whole new perspective on life. She travelled for six months around countries such as China, South America and Mexico, and during that time was hospitalised twice. She has had some incredible experiences – but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
Having been in China only a short while, Meg contracted bird flu and was hospitalised for two months before she could continue her journey: “That experience most definitely made me appreciate everything, and at the worst points, I just hoped to be able to see the people I loved”. Upon recovery, she spent time in Mexico, and it’s clear from her vivid descriptions of the white sand beaches, pine forests and Mayan ruins that she fell in love with the country, even extending her stay to take in more of its delights. From Mexico she went on to explore South America, including the Bolivian Desert where she was again hospitalised, this time with salmonella. Astoundingly, whilst in recovery, she still managed to find the strength to trek Machu Picchu! Most of us would have admitted defeat after such harrowing ordeals, but Meg seems unfazed – “hiccups along the way”, she tells me cheerily.
A love of nature and sightseeing developed into a passion for volunteering for the National Trust, and Meg has become a valued member of the charity. She assists at exhibitions, helps create educational resources, and has worked alongside talented artists such as Tessa Farmer on a variety of art projects. As she goes on to tell me, she has had some great experiences which will be highly beneficial when she graduates.
You might think, what with all those extra-curricular activities on top of a demanding degree, that Meg would stop there. However, she is now in the process of creating a piece far more personal and close to her heart than ever before. It all began whilst working with Tessa Farmer on her art installation piece, which sparked an interest in keeping bees and led Meg to create her own ‘bee hotel’. Captivated by the behaviour of the bees as they worked together in harmony, Meg was inspired to explore community art and use her experiences with different communities to produce artwork. “It was at this point that fate lent a helping hand”, she reveals. Last year she discovered a never-before-seen tape containing movie clips of her father, who died in a car accident when Meg was five. Comprised of scenes from family holidays and events, as well as Christmas festivities, the tape soon became the muse for her latest piece. Everything was now in place for the birth of a project which aimed to depict the close-knit communities that exist within our families. Raw footage of her father is blended with clips of places and sights featured in the original video, but as they look today, creating a kind of ‘video collage’.
Meg comes across as a dedicated person, extremely motivated and highly optimistic; her achievements and projects serve to illustrate that fact. But, far from being an untouchable role-model, she is as down-to-earth as the next person. She’s a ‘girly-girl’ through and through, with red wavy hair, a penchant for dresses and skirts, a friendly disposition (she coins the term ‘honeybee’ for how she likes to be around others), and is self-confessedly messy - a girl after my own heart. In my view, Meg is someone from whom we can each take inspiration to strive that little bit further and to see the positive in any situation. Without doubt, Meg will continue to make the best of things; and with a new and interesting project in the pipeline, who knows what the future may hold for her.