Melissa is an artist based in Ireland. Her work is held in both private and public collections. Currently she is a selected Turps Contemporary Painting, London artist and is preparing for her upcoming solo show Oct 2021 at the Ashford Gallery, RHA Dublin. Recently her work was shortlisted for John Moore’s painting Prize, UK 2020 and featured online CIAC.LA (Contemporary Irish Arts Center Los Angeles) 2020. Previously she was awarded a summer residency 2019, at Notre Dame Global University, Galway and during Covid was a guest panel speaker @ Mermaid Arts Centre, IRL.
Creating artwork is intrinsic to my beliefs and hopes for a more positive world. I’m primarily a painter, and the act of making an image and a physical object with permanence like a painting, from seemingly nothing more than canvas, pools of paint and imagination still feels surprising to me just like a magic trick and it is this unexpectedness that motivates me to make artworks.
My work is influenced by my research into the past works of Surrealism and how they exploited the redundant and dusty nature of old bourgeois paintings and re-invented them. Themes include adopting the mysterious and uncanny, alternative views of nature where hybridity thrives.
Artworks are also triggered by my own personal life experiences and what it is to be a female artist in the 21c. There’s also a critical commentary that reflects the effects on the human psyche of today’s hyper-modern world with the seemingly overwhelming endless plentitude of consumerism and the technocratic element of today’s society.
My aim is to give notice and meaning through the unexpectedness of imagery to the viewer and in some way a reflection and pause for thought on our own values and how we exist today.
2018-2021 Turps Contemporary Painting School, London
1993 IADT Dublin, Visual Communications
Solo Exhibitions (Selected)
2022 RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin – Turning It Over
2021 RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin – Nature Nostalgia
2016 Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow – Spaces Of The Imagination
2015 Signal Arts Centre, Wicklow – Drawings
Group Exhibitions (Selected)
2021 Cohort Turps Virtual exhibition ‘The Quick Brown Fox’
2020 Cohort Turps Virtual exhibition ‘In Absentia’
2020 CIAC.LA Irish Contemporary Arts Centre Los Angeles ‘100 Artists Virtual Showcase’
2020 DrawingDeCentred, The Courthouse, Ennistymon, Co.Clare
2019 189th RHA Annual , Dublin. 2019 DrawingDeCentred, The Model, Co.Sligo.
2018/17 Incognito Solomon Gallery, Dublin. 2017 Pallas Periodical #7, Dublin.
2016 186th RHA Annual , Dublin.
2017-21 Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co.Monaghan, Ireland.
2017 Royal College of Surgeons, Anatomy room, Dublin.
2015-21 Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Co.Kerry.
2019 Residency Award/RHA/Notre Dame University @ Global Centre, Kylemore Abbey, Ireland.
Office of Public Works, Ireland.
Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.
Notre Dame Global University, Irl/USA.
Private Collections in Ireland, Europe & USA
Writings / Reviews
2018 Contributing writer DrawingDeCentered article for VAI.
2017 Contributing writer at Visual Artists Ireland Periodical.
2019 Mermaid Arts Centre guest artist panel talk ‘Enough is Never Enough’ a public live-streaming event.
2019 RHA Dublin/artist public talk/tour @ summer annual.
2019 Turps Review, London
Founding member of artist-led collaboration Drawing deCentered
Professional Member of Visual Artist Ireland
Turps Painters, London, UK