My exhibition 'the departed' will be opened next Tuesday 16 March (6-8pm) by art critic and writer Andrew Frost at Hardware Gallery. Continues to 1 April. (Tues-Sat 11-5pm).
Hope to see you there.
As humans, we are not immune to the loss experienced in relationships. In 'the departed', Melanie Boreham leads the audience through many of her own trials as she transforms the gallery into an intimate repository for her own harbored loss. Across a variety of disciplines including sculptural installations, video, painting and textiles, we are confronted with the destabilising nature of separation through the medium of human hair.
The major installation inhabiting the gallery 'Forest of the inside' is composed of a myriad of black trees entirely made of human hair, representative of individuals. They float in the air at various levels - some closer, others further - creating a space that is difficult to circulate.
Boreham uses human hair, a grossly intimate material, as a metaphor to examine the effects of separation. The continual growth and severing of our hair is a mimetic act of the often destructive pattern of our human relationships. Just as we are constantly cutting our hair, our relationships are constantly evolving and breaking down.
The Halfway House honours exhibition opened last Thursday night- some really wonderful work-lots of sculptural installations. My work "we're hAIR apart" won a Barry Keldoulis prize. The work itself is two balloons- one big and round hovering in the air attempting to escape from the other balloon which has deflated. They are attached by 4 metres of braided asian hair.
It's been some time since I've last posted, I've been quite busy to say the least with applications and invitations/press release. I also applied for the William Fletcher Grants and the National Youth Art Portrait Prize so we'll see how that goes.
This month is busy with 4 shows:
I was in a group show 'Black and White' Feva Fundraiser last Fri-Sat which was wonderful. 3 works sold and I bought a few works to add to my growing art collection.
'Halfway house' - the honours group show is being opened this Thursday by Barry Keldoulis at COFAspace, and I've created an installation titled "we're hAIR apart" for it. I'll post some pics up soon.
Then there's the Waverly Youth Art Prize in a couple weeks that I'll have a work in.
And finally "on EST (we ARE)" in 3 weeks:
‘on EST (we ARE)’
A SOLO EXHIBITION BY MELANIE BOREHAM
9-20 JUNE 2009
OPENING TUESDAY 9 JUNE, 5-7:30PM
LOCKS OF HONESTY:
AN ARTIST’S AFFAIR WITH HAIR
In her first major solo show ‘on EST (we ARE)’, young Sydney artist Melanie Boreham taps into something raw, something experienced by us all-our own vulnerability. The exhibition consists of a human hair installation and over 50 portraits created in the last 2 years, in which she has cleverly combined various methods of textiles, painting and drawing; engaging with the different dimensions of surface tactility.
Hair, with its rich connotations has become the focus of Boreham’s current practice. Undertaking an Honours degree at the College of Fine Arts this year, she is working on a multi-disciplinary installation using disembodied human head hair to expose the dysfunctionality of our society’s relationships. For this exhibition she has composed an installation using various bundles of hair suspended from red balloons. The length and manipulation of the hair acts as a record of severed bonds.
Within her series of portraits, Boreham wrestles with our disconnection and desensitisation from one another, as we cannibalistically consume images and forget those represented. This is evidenced everyday in our urban environment, when simply walking down the street. No one smiles, eyes do not meet, and words are not spoken. Anything to the contrary is deemed out of the ordinary and curiously startles us. By painting and drawing these people, which are both friends and anonymous subjects, she attempts to confront and reconnect humanity with itself. Her figures resist dismissal as their eyes reverse the gaze back onto the viewer.
Boreham recognizes that people often use their hair to construct a particular identity and emphasises this in her portraits through elaborate hairstyles sewn with wool. By forcefully stressing this act of defining an identity, she ensures that these people will not recede into a crowd that one can easily forget.
After having exhibited in nearly 20 group shows and awards, Melanie is proud to present this collection of works, which encapsulate a side of the human condition that we all can identify with.
6 Napier St Paddington, Sydney.
Open Wed-Fri 11-6pm, Sat 11-4pm, Mon and Tues by appointment only.
Hope you can all make it...it's going to be great! I'll be spending the next 3 weeks working full-time on the balloon installation.
My proposal for a solo show "on EST (we ARE)" at Kudos Gallery has been accepted! The show will run for two weeks from the 9-20 June. Finally the day has come for me to show all my Stitched in Space works. Ever since I started the series, I have been very anxious about parting with any of the works before they were exhibited all together as a family, as I felt they shared such a strong bond, that detached from this community they would suffer.
I'll also be showing my Fluidity series, and other drawing/oil portraits. I haven't done a portrait for 2 months (a long time!) so I might start working on new series for the show.
'on EST (we ARE)' is a show about humanity's increasing vulnerability and our cannabilistic attitude to images, particularly of humans. In the works, I have attempted to depict a raw humanity, yearning for meaning, in order to confront an audience on their mirroring vulnerability.
'on EST, French for 'we are' becomes 'honest' when pronouced in English. This honesty should be irresistable, as with the claim that these people exist-they 'are'. But this isn't always the case.
My Stitched in Space 'gaze' portraits at Hardware Gallery.
A close-up of Clare, Jess and Rachel.
We had the artist talks at Hardware Gallery today from 3-5, and I met some really interesting artists. We talked about our practices and it was fascinating how everyone approaches art, from their methodology, to their techniques, to their thoughts; to end up with a final product-an artwork. And whilst doing my research on other artists, I have begun questioning everything-why they chose that material over another, what it symbolises to them, why they placed it there, why that colour, why that orientation, why this, why that. And due to my current project being driven conceptually, I find that this questioning of every finite detail is being echoed in my work. Everything has meaning and to neglect this truth is like neglecting an artwork.
I have several works that I have spent days and nights sketching out and thinking over, such as a door-mat of felted hair, placed outside the space, that people must walk on in order to enter the space. I started felting this week-also a lot of fun, but it requires a lot of hair and I need more of it!
In the midst of all of this, a very talented artist friend of mine has been webbing his mark out the front of my house. This spider has been making spider webs just under a meter in diameter, on my path between my door and gate. It's actually been rather wonderful. My family has been bending right down to avoid breaking the web and in so doing cover themselves with the sticky fibres. We have gone a few days without touching it, however as I have been observing, if the web is torn down, it is up again by the next day, in another fabulous formation. Thus after having destroyed it today, I expect to see another one tomorrow. It's a reminder that these creatures exist, that we humans aren't the only ones here!
My talented spider's creation. There's a lot for me to learn about his intricate technique!