Biography

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.

Artist Statement

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.

CV
Education

2018-2021  Turps Contemporary Painting School, London
1993  IADT Dublin, Visual Communications

Solo Exhibitions (Selected)

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 ‘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.

Residencies

2017-20  Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co.Monaghan, Ireland.
2017  Royal College of Surgeons, Anatomy room, Dublin.
2015-21  Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Co.Kerry.

Awards

2019  Residency Award/RHA/Notre Dame University @ Global Centre, Kylemore Abbey, Ireland.

Collections

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.

Public Talks

2016  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

Memberships

Founding member of artist-led collaboration Drawing deCentered
Visual Artist Ireland
Turps Painters, London, UK

Download CV and Bio here.

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