Review: Artist Profile – Melissa Mladin
Artist Profile – Melissa Mladin by Anthony Frater
ARTS at EASTSIDE
Artist Profile: Melissa Mladin
It’s like we are looking into the dark internal spaces of someones brain, yes we have X-ray vision. It’s an evolution: evolution and change the aim, stasis the antithesis. An evolution that has taken visual artist and painter Melissa Mladin on an exploratory journey encompassing everything from diffuse almost abstract impressionistic works, evoking a brain at rest, numb and not really sure where it’s going but nonetheless composed and contemplating serenity and peace; to more recent works and an explosion of expressive colour, synapses firing and connecting, we are sure that from the haze, the fug, the kinetic cosmic explosion of colour, that something is going to happen, manifest, materialise, a revelation, bliss, a third eye view.
Mladin’s works are large scale, she works in mixed media on canvas, they are immersive in that the viewer is drawn into the work. They can be likened to a psychoanalytic drama as she explores ideas of identity, the self and our environment, and how that dynamic might influence our development.
Mladin is most assuredly an abstract expressionist painter, her large scale works are motivated by a desire to characterise emotions through the sensuous qualities of paint. In the past abstract expressionism has been seen as an outlook rather than a style, an outlook characterised by a spirit of revolt against tradition and a desire for spontaneous freedom of expression, it is not viewed in abstract formalist terms but can convey significant meaning. Mladin talks about working intuitively, using free movement and layering, letting the works become what they want to become, what they want to evolve themselves into, she talks about moments when the mind is free to let the body create.
This coupled with her use of the enso – the deftly painted circle of enlightenment that expresses a moment when the mind is free to let the body create – figures throughout her work simultaneously as a tool for the artist to break through stasis. Her contemplations delve into esoteric mythologies, spiritual belief and the psychology of the human condition. In this sense her brand of abstract expressionism owes much to surrealism with its stress on automatism and intuition.
She calls her works happenings (reminiscent of Alan Watts) , “Through my happenings, my hope is to translate a journey for the viewer into a landscape of possibility and commitment, to create a dialogue within the self for growth and change.”
For Melissa painting is, “about creating an experience; creating another journey, a world where people can step into a beautiful experience…[and] walk away feeling good about themselves. I hope they’re inspired.”
She says the, “universal energy that connects us all…I sometimes call guidance or spirit…I whole-heartedly just follow; It’s like you’re being given a message and that message has to be put in front of people.”
After a successful exhibition and sale of her works in December at the TwentyTwenty Six Gallery, Melissa Mladin returns once again this week showcasing a new body of work in a must see group show entitled, RAVEL.
The show investigates themes of the interconnections between art, culture, ideas, time and space. Artists interpret what it means to be entwined, revealing the secrets inherent to the spaces in between: just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Twenty Twenty Six Gallery.
17 O’Brien Street. Bondi Beach.
RAVEL. A group show showcasing the works of 10 FEATURED ARTISTS:
David Lee Pereira
Story by Anthony Frater