meredith stern

4

Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative
by Alec Opperman for Station To Station

Justseeds is a cooperatively run network of witty, political print makers and designers. The group has artists scattered across the United States with several members who reside in Mexico and Canada.

From graffiti to posters, their work centers on political activism and social justice. Labor is a common motif, and migrant workers are found in many of their political posters.

Their work is quirky but effective. Meredith Stern, a Justseeds’ artist, explores social issues through her prints of cats. While some wondered if Stern was paying homage to the internet gods or unhealthily obsessed, Stern cleared up the confusion by explaining the political significance of her cat depictions.

I have been asked several times about the use of cats in my artwork and so I now present a succinct explanation of why I am not simply obsessed with cats and instead am very intentionally choosing to use cats to represent ideas of social change. On a very basic level, cats are free of dog-ma. Also, using animals rather than people as the central figures in a piece allows for a more open interpretation of who is being represented. When images of people are used in artwork, it’s easy to attribute a specific ethnicity, age, gender, sexual identity, or other cultural associations to the person in the image. Through the use of animals, all these identities are vague, and the reader can instead allow themselves to be transported into the activities being presented in a fantastical and playful way.

Who knew that cats were so packed with meaning? Stern argues that ideas of “social change, anarchy, and spirituality” can all be found in cat work. Meow.

This article originally appeared on StationToStation.com

Ficlet prompt from anon: could you pls do a fic where meredith sees kate's scars (when she's staying with castle in s5) and it makes her realise all that kate and castle have gone thru to be together and she sort of gives them her blessing if you will.

“Rick? Are you in here?” Meredith calls out as she walks into his bedroom. “Oh, hey, Kate!” she smiles when she sees the detective.

“Meredith!” Kate exclaims as she covers herself with her shirt.

“Oh, don’t be shy on my account,” Meredith waves a hand nonchalantly. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” she walks over and sits down on the edge of the bed. “Besides, a bra covers the same things a bikini does, so just pretend we’re at the beach and you’re good,” she laughs. “So, where is Rick?”

“Um,” Kate hesitates, “he’s in the shower.”

“Ah,” Meredith stands back up and heads towards the bathroom, “thank you.”

“Wait,” Kate runs over and holds up a hand to block her from going in, obviously no longer caring that her torso is now just covered with a bra. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I wanted to talk to Rick about something.”

“But I just told you he’s in the shower.”

“So? Again,” she winks, “it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“Meredith,” Kate’s tone turns stern, “like we’ve already discussed, Castle and I are together now.”

“What’s your point? I’m not going in there to get in the shower with him or anything. I just want to talk to him.”

“Well, I’m not okay with you going in there to talk to him while he’s in the shower.”

“Why?”

“Do I seriously need to answer that?”

Meredith scoffs in confusion and stares Beckett dead in the eyes. After a moment of tense silence, something in her peripheral vision catches her attention. She looks down and sees the small pucker of thick skin between Kate’s breasts. Meredith knows about the shooting - no details of course, only that she’d been shot. Suddenly Kate must realize what Meredith is looking at, because she lifts her shirt to put it on. Before she can get it all the way on though, Meredith catches a glimpse of the long, thin scar on her side.

That’s when it hits her. Before her stands a woman who got a second chance at life, and she’s chosen to spend that chance with Rick. She isn’t a gold-digger or someone hoping to find fame through him. She isn’t with him because she has to be or feels like it’s the right thing to do based on circumstances. She is with him because she wants to be, plain and simple. And Rick had waited all that time for her, though it wasn’t always easy according to Alexis’ conversations about the pair throughout the last four years.

“You know what?” Meredith smiles. “I’m going to go wait for Rick in the living room.”

“I didn’t mean to offend you or anything, it’s just tha-”

“No,” Meredith interrupts. “You’re right, Kate. I’m sorry. The way I’ve been acting isn’t fair to you or to him,” she starts to turn to leave, but looks back at Kate. “I hope you two end up living a long, happy life together.”

It takes Kate a couple of moments to reply. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Meredith smiles again and heads back out of the room.