Melanie's studies began at Box Hill Institute where she gained skills in illustration, painting, photography and discovered her love for printmaking. Melanie went on to study printmaking at the Victorian College of the Arts where she won numerous awards, including the McClelland Gallery Senini Art Award for Printmaking and the DeBortoli Anniversary wine label competition.
Over the years Melanie's art and design work has crossed a variety of media and subject matter, ranging from highly illustrative drawings and paintings to more minimal, abstract etchings and aquatints.
Her current work explores abstract interpretations of space; extracting and emphasising shape, space, line and texture. Drawing inspiration from the spaces she inhabits, each piece is a response to the aesthetics and physicality of the interior and exterior spaces of her life.
This pictorial language of geometric abstraction, based on the use of simple shapes combined into non-objective compositions, has been inspired by such artists as Paul Klee, Richard Diebenkorn, Yvonne Audette, Picasso and Matisse, to name but a few.
The reformulation of the conventions of form and space, quilts of shape and tonal planes detached from physical description creates a unique and elegant minimal contemporary aesthetic. The use of plywood supports contrasts the opaque blocks of acrylic, enhancing the subtle textures and patterns of the material.
Melanie started Little Red Cat in 2013 illustrating images that are best described as snapshots and micro stories of her young children’s lives. She savours these fleeting moments in her drawings and believes they transcend the traditional photograph and evolve into an imaginary realm where memories and stories from the past, present and the future meet. Inspired by vintage illustration styles, Melanie's images create the perfect accompaniment for story telling, awaiting a written tale to enhance their meaning.
"So who is Little Red Cat? Good question. When I sit down and think about it, this is my answer; Little Red Cat is my muse of whom is not always visible, as is the nature of the cat. And when he appears - he is not always red. The cat symbolises the spirit of independence, cleverness and curiosity, essential ingredients of the creative process. It also symbolises rebirth, in that each new idea is a revival of the last, containing elements of all creative ideas that have come before and those that are waiting to be found. The colour red is a recurring inspirational element for me and represents the energy, passion and stimulation inherent in the process of creativity."
Little Red Cat is now sleeping and Melanie continues her next chapter of illustrative work learning and having fun along the way. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Walking to the edge of comfort zones and jumping into pits of newness and beauty is now her focus. Searching for simple complexities and many other oxymorons along the way. Enjoy.