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by Geoff Jaeger
posted 27/11/2014

Lumivita

Lumivita – a dance with the shadow and the light

Melissa Mladin-Löwgren remembers first creating from the age of two or three, crushing up sandstone with dam water, to paint on paper bark. Three years ago she gave up working on the interior design of large commercial properties to paint. “I realised I was off-purpose,” she says.

Melissa talks about working intuitively, and how important this is to her as she creates with the use of free movement and layering. She describes how, as she works, her paintings morph into: “what the works want to become, what they want to evolve themselves into.”

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There’s a small confession about dancing around her studio, “hoping no one is looking in.” I’m not sure I was supposed to include that part of the interview, but I have a feeling Melissa won’t mind. It’s an image that, for me, illustrates the sense of play with light, colour and movement in her work.

She goes on to talk about the “universal energy that connects us all, which I sometimes call guidance or spirit…and whole-heartedly just follow. It’s like you’re being given a message and that message has to be put in front of people.”

The ethereal quality of Melissa’s work is unmistakeable. “Painting,” she says, “is all about helping us become better humans. I don’t go in wanting to paint a king or queen chess piece, it just evolves. I wanted a sense of grace to emanate from the paintings in this exhibition, a beautiful, soft presence.”

Inner Smile

It seems like a good time to ask Melissa about influences on her work. “I draw inspiration from my design career, but try to keep my painting free, and not be too influenced by other artists. [I think] Philipe Starck is a genius, [someone] wanting everyone to experience good design…[I’m] drawn to his quirky, whimsical, scale [his] juxtaposition of old and new.” Photographer Tim Walker is another influence, with Melissa a fan of people who follow what’s in their heart, rather than what the market necessarily dictates.

Perhaps that’s why in Melissa’s world there’s “no such thing as typical and normal’ when it comes to the time taken to produce a single work. She can be working on a piece for two years or more, rotating her paintings between studio and home. “I love to live with them to ensure they’re evolving and on the right path.”

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.”

Lumivita started with the colour green following a holiday visit to Byron Bay. You can see where that took this artist by visiting Art2Muse Gallery in Double Bay.

 

Melissa

Lumivita – a dance with the shadow and the light

Melissa Mladin-Löwgren

25 November — 8 December 2014

ART2MUSE GALLERY

357 New South Head Road, Double Bay – Sydney

10am – 4pm Tuesday

10am – 7pm Wednesday

10am – 7pm Thursday

10am – 7pm Friday

10am – 4pm Saturday

10am – 4pm Sunday

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