Melanie Caple Gecko Studio Gallery 2016 / 2017
In A Darkened Room
‘…bloom in a darkened room And you just flew right into the light and came alive…’ Lloyd Cole.
Melanie Caple enjoys subtleties. Although her work may appear bold and at times complex with their rendering and juxtaposition of imagery, it is the glow of light cast and a flickering of shadow, the tenderness of new growth and the unexpected that surprises and inspires.
At once hesitant with the world and yet also brazen, the artist makes sense of felt imbalance by focusing on the minute happenings of things. Focussing on these elements – native flora blooming under a night sky, the shades and textures of a new leaf and by playing with gold, an abandon is released through each individual work.
This exhibition also, in trying to realise those contrasts, sees the artist bring together two strong elements of her practice. Where she has spent much time focussing on her ability to draw and render imagery with pencil, the act of lino cutting has proven to also be a way of utilising her skills of image making and working in a more physical way. By cutting, carving and hand printing each element, once the plates are printed, watercolour is used to bring them to life. Replicating the gardens that surround her, proteas, leucadendrons, and falling leaves come to life in an almost graphic way on the page.
In an excerpt from her last exhibition, ‘There is an inherent longing for space and freedom that runs through her body of work: mountains, flora, foliage, birds, the moon, the night sky. These are images conjured as a means of giving form to the sense of capaciousness that we often take for granted. We live in a place of physical space, but also temporal space. It affords us the time and freedom to breathe, to live, to create.
Sometimes the things that define us must be thrown into relief to give them focus. More than anything, that is the inspiration for this suite of works.
Melanie asks you to consider the juxtapositions shown in the works: the wild freedom of mountains set against the mathematical strictures of musical notes; organic foliage within geometric forms; the familiar magpie against the unattainable night sky. Feel the sense of hope and wonder captured in graphite, ink and watercolour, dripped with gold. – Rick Rutjens 2015.
Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) with Distinction from RMIT University in 2012, and completed her Masters of Arts Management at RMIT in 2014. Working as an artist, curator and arts manager she has worked in multiple capacities within the arts industry for the past five years, has exhibited in various group exhibitions, and in 2015 and 2016 staged solo exhibitions around Melbourne as well as a major solo exhibition in 2015 at the Latrobe Regional Gallery as the recipient of the annual Dick Bishop Memorial Award. Most recently she was a recipient of the People’s Choice Award in the Roi Art Prize. Melanie divides her time between her sunlit studio in Melbourne’s north, and the rolling hills of South Gippsland.