Melanie Brown    


Artist Statement

Downsides up, Insides Out Exhibition with Trena Everuss & Melanie Brown, Praxis Artspace. Catalogue Essay, Proxemic series 2022-23.

Human experience is at the heart of my work, serving as a platform to elucidate notions on perception, and highlighting the disparity between how the world seems and how it is! My new work seeks to bring attention to the complexities of human connection, assuming the role of a conversation between two bodies – a contemplation on space, interrelation and perception. Body positioning acts as the medium and conduit for dialogue, individual and collective. Skin becomes a performative surface for a dance of light and temperature, exposure and concealment, tension and release.
Drawing on the academic traditions of figurative painting, imbued with contemporary processes, I sort to expand the shifting hues of the skin tone palette to become both body and space. My initial approach was to construct a transparent cube as a site to derive compositions  responding to movement from the bodies within. The cube serves as inspiration for large square paintings and is intended to act as a metaphor and perceptual filter through which we interpret and understand the multifaceted nature of being.
These works seek to encapsulate the intimate, personal, social and public space. Although only traces of cube remain, the notion of boundaries blurred speak to how we shape our perception of what lies within and beyond. By also presenting different viewpoints and distortions of foreshortening, my intention is to further highlight the diverse and subjective nature of human perspectives. Subtle shifts in temperature and the intermittent flicker of movement disrupts- eliciting moods and psychological tensions. Shadows cloak the occasional ambiguous body parts, whilst thick and thin layers of paint, expressive brushstrokes or flat surfaces, contrast the strong dimensional and carefully detailed flesh.
In conclusion, my paintings aim to call up sensations and emotions as a contemplative reflection on the delicate balance of life and ways of being in the world and with each other!

Proxemic | Roller Grrls | Rah Rah | Vertigo of Being