MELANIE WAUGH ‘April and May’ 27th June – 2nd July

Melanie’s paintings of creeks, coastlines, and rainforests capture familiar scenes from the artist’s life. Her practise continues on with the grand narrative of Australian landscape painting where she uses broad brushstrokes, rich colours and contrasting light to reflect the vibrancy of Australia presenting an energetic picture of this immense island.

Living in the Bellingen Valley on Gummgyngirr country, Melanie has a Bachelor Of Fine Arts from the National Art School and a Master of Arts from UNSW. She has previously had two successful solo exhibitions with Michael Reid Northern Beaches and Southern Highlands. Melanie has been a finalist in many art prizes including the National Emerging Art Prize and the 9 x 5 Landscape painting prize (2021), The Kings School Art Prize (2022) and the Hawksbury Art Prize (2019). Her work is held in private collections across Australia and overseas.

In this series of oil paintings I have continued with the landscapes of my life. I am drawn to capturing the moment before the magnificent. Because as with most pleasures, it’s not so much the experience itself as the anticipation that is the most enjoyable. ‘April and May’ is an exhibition full of beach pathways, stirring feelings of coming or going and signifying such fleeting moments. Autumnal days spent exploring new settings or familiar ones and the ruggedness of the East Coast of Australia is highlighted through bold application paint. 

Some depict city lights or the moonshine on the water. I am interested in turning the familiar unfamiliar, the night makes these locations less familiar, a beach path is not as familiar in the dark and not somewhere often ventured to during these hours. Through nocturne paintings I settle into the uncomfortableness of night along with its beauty. Like the fleeting shadowy hours of April and May I hurriedly record the scene by simplifying and yet describing the essence of the landscapes before me.

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