From 29th August – 22nd September 2018 Cornwall Contemporary was delighted to host a solo exhibition of exquisite paintings and printmaking by Melanie Goemans.
The way in which Melanie paints is very traditional, using materials such as oil paint, gesso, linseed oil, gold leaf… all with very fine brushes. This demonstrates Melanie’s innate precision and skill and her fascination in the history of art and wanting to connect with painting in the way that the old masters did.
“The work in this exhibition is a response to my environment, the places in and around which I have lived the everyday; the new that has become the familiar, that has resonated the thoughts and experiences lived through here. I like that the paintings are mine only briefly while I work on them in my studio. Their life begins when they fly to another context, to a different viewer who I hope will find their own significances in this work. This is the life of the painting. The birds animate the landscape, the heron like a god, disproportionate and mysteriously significant. The stone – the earth – underlines everything, and the trees have been my enduring fascination for the past fifteen years. I am interested in the overlooked, incidental forms in nature – how painting / printmaking can draw attention to things with no conventional value and mark them as important through the use of traditional materials, such as oil paint, gesso, gold leaf, etching. I like looking at complicated shapes and drawing them with a very fine brush. The act of painting like this feels almost like stitching or weaving, as slowly with each brush mark the work comes together. I used to think art had to be complex to be good, but over time I have realised that keeping things simple or paring them down can make a bigger statement.”
Melanie grew up in the Lincolnshire fens. She spent time in Italy before studying Florentine Renaissance art at the Courtauld Institute, London and Fine Art at the School of Art, University of Gloucestershire. She went on to teach Art and History of Art and take up Artist in Residence posts in Cheltenham and Devon before settling in London. Melanie relocated to the Cambridgeshire fens with her young family in 2010 and now works from her studio in Ely. Over her career, Melanie has exhibited in group and solo shows across the UK at various venues including the Jerwood Space, Bridgeman Gallery, Rebecca Hossack Gallery and Florence Trust in London. Her work is held in corporate and private collections in the UK and overseas and has recently been selected for the National Open Art Competition; the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition; and the JohnMoores Painting Prize (second round).
View Melanie Goemans’ exhibition here