Liverpool artwork of the week 2011-13. ‘And Then I Saw A Dear’ by Melanie Tomlinson at Bluecoat Display Centre with Rachael Howard in ‘Storyville’. 12 March – 7 May 2011.
Be prepared to spend plenty of time for looking closely at these fantastic (in its true sense) works by Melanie Tomlinson alongside the very different but also fascinating textile-based pieces by Rachael Howard. I love Melanie’s forest scenes set in box frames with subtle lighting – there’s a Spring scene and an Autumn one. I can look at these for ages. She also does small brooches as well as these larger sculptures.
I have a deep passion for nature and its protection, which inspires all my work. I believe that narrative, particularly folklore and mythology can help us better understand all living things and how we need each other to survive.
My sculptures are inspired by narrative from all over the world and also my own experiences of being with nature. Sometimes I write my own short stories to give a contemporary twist to a theme. I like to step into this other world, to explore the world of the unfamiliar.
The work I create sometimes has roots within other cultures and may appear deliberately mysterious or strange. Romania is very close to my heart and often I include traces of its culture within my work. At the same time, I find sources of inspiration wherever I am.
I illustrate my work using very fine brushes and gouache and hand print these images onto metal sheets. My designs often incorporate illusory symbols that relate to the piece’s theme. For instance, a lacy skirt might on closer inspection be composed of spiders, wolves, snowflakes or birds. My intention is to continue highlighting the traditions of folklore as a way of commenting on what I experience in the here and now.