Taken Beyond - October 2017

It was great to participate in a group exhibition hosted by Art In the Yard in Franschhoek.  The theme was Taken Beyond and focused on landscapes. 

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this first body of works in my NEW art studio on our new property Hope Streams. Although it's still a bit of a store-room while we steadily finish renovating the main house, it is functional. Like in life "If we waited until all was perfect, nothing would be done at all". 

So, amidst the dissaray, I forge on, 'finding things' and mostly too, finding great joy. 

The work is filled with 'hope' and expectation for what 'lies ahead', and with lots of personal meaning in the bits of collage, gold, thread, stamps and my precious little images of people that I've photographed ... some from as long ago as 2004/5

As some of the stamps date back considerably, my friend Ana gently mentioned that I could very well be using "highly valuable" stamps in my work ... but oh, the value for me is in the use of them in a piece that will bring joy to whoever sees it ... rather than it being secured in a pristine album; much like the value of life is in it's use!

I have another body of work on the go, that goes BEYOND still ... and I'm happy to be TAKEN up in the process.

The images have in some cases loaded as quite large, and depending on your screen size/resolution you might need to scroll up and down a bit ..... but you can view the works on the beautiful Art In the Yard website.

If you're in and around Franschhoek, stop in to view them in the real where Sharlene will assist you.

Trailing the Trappists - November 2017

I managed to keep somewhat ‘sane’ during the last months of renting before moving onto our property in June by creating these small artworks for the Trailing the Trappist’s Exhibition: 5th ‘till 12th November which will be hosted at the St Anne’s Hall at the Mariannhill Monastery. 

This has been an initiative by Maggie Strachan, where 16 artists will be soon be showing their beautiful works in response to visiting the various mission stations.  You can preview and purchase works by visiting the Facebook page titled Trailing the Trappists.  

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Along with my husband Patrick and studio companion Hugo, I have recently moved to live on our new property: Hope Streams, in the misty hills and valley of Assagay. My life has changed radically over the past three years, where for about the same time I have blissfully laboured on these small but treasured artworks that have brought me joy, solace, centeredness and meaning.

For quite some time I have been investigating the concept of ‘transition’; of moving beyond or through a space, a place, a context; be it of a physical state, an emotional or spiritual one. I have a fascination with ‘time’ and ‘dimension’, and of ‘connection’ … and of the existence ‘beyond’ these concepts.

The subject matter of gates and doors from the Reichenau Mission and Mariannhill Monastery formed the basis for the theme of ‘transition’ for me in this exhibition.

I have combined printed photographs in a mixed media format; where the foregrounds leading to the doorways suggest that they could very well be that of an exterior or interior scape. The lines between the present and the future, between the internal and the external are intentionally blurred.

We are all ‘transitioning’ in one way or another; through grand doors, other times through side rickety gates, at the end of sand paths, slippery slopes, stone steps or concrete walkways. We are continuously on a journey, on one path or another, climbing steep unsteady ladders or by gentle turns along grassed paths where we oftentimes unexpectedly find ourselves anew.

In the end, either way, we are changed.

And the trail continues.

Packing (art) for the US of A ... - July 2017

My sister-in-law Paula, lives in the States and keeps on at us for a visit.

Well. Not yet.

For now, my art continues to travel there.  And soon, Sacred Walk begins the journey across many miles and seas.  

This work has had a special meaning for me and I have found myself a little reluctantly preparing and packing it up to be collected by the couriers.

Even now, I have not enclosed it in its final wrapping.

My good-friend and art-partner Joan Martin often reassures me with "... there's more". She's right.  There is lots more work to come (I trust); but that moment of creating this particular work and the time and space I was in, is behind me now.  

Time is sacred.

 

Pink Blooms and Sienna Earths

My friend Ana and I started exchanging Mail-Art (postcards) in April of 2012.  

With no-thanks to the (un)reliability of the SA Postal Service, we cannot post these through 'the system'.  This means that we 'have to' meet to handover our cards.  So where we can, it's usually over a cuppa and sometimes lunch.

Ana loves all-things-bright; bright blooms and colourful prints. She is as bright in life too. I on the otherhand tend towards the earth tones.  

Looking back over at our cards, and the photos of some of our exchanges, it is evident that Ana's love for bright and happy colours must be influencing me positively.

You can see the images of our exchange on my facebook artist page - Lara Mellon Artist

 

Don't Run

Our much-longer-than-anticipated transition period (whilst we build our new home) could have had me feeling like running away often I'm sure .... if it weren't for creating art, in whatever form.  

Joan and I have been exchanging mail-art (postcards) since 2012.  Recently our friend Ana De Vlieg has also begun exchanging with us. I will blog about our postcards too.

It is the most wonderful thing, to have this connection, and a good reason too to meet over a cuppa and occassionally over dinner. I look as forward to receiving a new card as I do to responding with one.

We often include portraits and other images from the Sktchy App that Joan introduced us to.

I have loaded all of Joan and my postcards right from 2012 so you can see them here on my Lara Mellon Artist Facebook Page.

My last postcard was digitally printed from an oil painting that I did in response to a beautiful image off Sktchy.

You can also see some of these images on my Instagram link.  

A really great aspect of the postcards is that they're 'in-conversation' so have personal meaning and create a record of where we've 'been at'.  They are also experimental so we get to stretch ourselves a bit with a playful approach and the connection with another artist-friend is invaluable.

So, there's no need for me to run off anywhere .... these exchanges keep me relatively sane, and certainly hopefull and looking forward.

Treats that last a lifetime - Dec 2016

The Buzzart Fair at the KZNSA Gallery is always a treat for me, both in exhibiting and selling my own work, and then in spoiling myself with treasures to enjoy in my home for a lifetime to come.  

This year I bought two Tricam Prints; a lovely mandala drawn by Nindya Tricam and a beautiful drawing of the Durban Station by Nikhil Tricam.  Look them up ... their works are wonderful.

You're bound to find a unique item, hand-crafted and local-to-Durban from the fair, so if you're in the area, stop by.

You'll experience a profound difference in living with origional, hand-crafted, made-with-heart works compared with the mass-produced same-old-same in all the super-commercial shops out there.

Transcend the Present I - Mixed Media on Board - 16x12cm - SOLD

Transcend the Present II - Mixed Media on Board - 16x12cm

Still, Through Forests @ The Loading Bay - August 2016

You are invited to join us for the OPENING of the NEW exhibition at The Loading Bay Gallery – Friday 29th July at 6pm.

With a new series of artworks; Still, Through Forests will be my last exhibition this year.

I hope so much if you’re in Durban you can stop by to enjoy these and all the wonderful works by my fellow artists as listed below, in the great space that is The Loading Bay. 

 

 

 

 My work reflects the freedom I find in open landscapes and then of forests filled with mystery. In some of these, I have included photographed figures taken during a typical day in the city.  Placing these photographed images within painted forest and landscape settings creates a certain magic for me, and suggests that perhaps even living within the urban space, the longing for freedom of open planes and the magic of forests persist within us.

Through Forests @ The Loading Bay - July 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed making these artworks for part of a group exhibition at the wonderful Loading Bay Gallery housed in the beautiful Con Amore in the hip hood of Station Road in Durban.  

The exhibition opened on the 1st of July and runs until the 24th.

You can view the works here or on my facebook page.

 

My work reflects the freedom I find in open landscapes and then of forests filled with mystery. In some of these, I have included photographed figures taken during a typical day in the city.  Placing these photographed images within painted forest and landscape settings creates a certain magic for me, and suggests that perhaps even living within the urban space, the longing for freedom of open planes and the magic of forests persist within us.

Opening @ The Loading Bay Gallery

Durbanites: Opening Friday 1st June, 6pm @ The Loading Bay Gallery .............. but you're welcome to stop by anytime till the 24th.

See Loading Bay Gallery for details re. opening times etc

Not Afraid – Mixed Media on Board – 8x23cm

 

Through Forests - July 2016

Lara Mellon @ The Loading Bay Gallery from 1 July – 24 July 2016 

Join us at the Opening this Friday from 6pm

 

My work reflects the freedom I find in open landscapes and then of forests filled with mystery.

In some of these, I have included photographed figures taken during a typical day in the city. 

Placing these photographed images within painted forest and landscape settings creates a certain magic for me, and suggests that perhaps even living within the urban space, the longing for freedom of open planes and the magic of forests persist within us.

 

Loading Bay Gallery:  Grace Kotze 0825605045

15 Station Drive, Durban (housed in Con Amore Home)

Wed - Fri: 10:00am - 4:00pm and Sat - Sun: 9:00am - 1:00pm

Gallery closed on Monday and Tuesday

Facebook: Loading Bay Gallery Instagram: loadingbaygallery

The Old & The New - 2016, June

THE OLD AND THE NEW .... I left my 'usual' box of paints at my temporary studio at Pat's factory this evening ... 😫😫 ... and then remembered this beautiful 50+ year old Winsor & Newton box of artist oils stored in my cupboard, along with my 'stash' of brand new never-yet-being used W&N oils. So, a tiny little effort will be in order tonight before much needed Zzzz's ... 🎨💛☺️

2016, January - Invisible Threads – 98.4

My art partner Joan Martin and I decided to submit a collaborative artwork for the Annual Member's Exhibition at the KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts, held at the gallery in Glenwood Durban in January 2016.  

We both had had our own ideas for artworks, but decided to collaborate a work ONLY DAYS BEFORE the opening .... :-/ so we had alot of last minute 'fun' pulling it all together.

You can read the sometimes funny Whatsapp text exchange between Joan and me at the end of the album on my Facebook Page.

Also, you can see photos of the work and read the statement that gives an overview of the artwork here on my website, and then see photos of the pre-work drafts, and the opening of the exhibition on my FB page.

Still Standing .... 2015, April

In April this year I participated in a group exhibition at artSpace durban in an exhibition entitled "Threads".

Artists who previously have incorporated thread in their work were asked to participate.   

The brief asked us to choose a drawing by one of our favourite artists which we in turn would translate into our own work.

 

Standing Woe-man 

My inspiration for this work was Alberto Giacometti’s ‘Standing Woman’.  I made the piece at the time of the xenophobic attacks in Durban and got to thinking how the bondage of an individual’s fear and despair (woe) can affect the community as a whole.

Perhaps in order for us to see the whole, we need to stand back, and like Giacometti, to question and to try to find a new way of looking and translating what we see.

 

[1] Born in the tiny village of Borgonovo in eastern Switzerland in 1901, Giacometti chose Paris as his city of adoption. When he left Paris to visit his mother in Geneva some 20 years later, little did he know that he would end up living there from 1942 to 1945. At the time he was not authorised to return to France due to his Swiss nationality.

 

The period from 1935-1946 proved to be a difficult one for Alberto. Not only was it wartime, but he was also undergoing one of the longest and deepest crises of his artistic career.  "This transitional period was a major rupture in his career," said Schneider. "He loses all contact with galleries and doesn't show his work. But it's a period when he questions his work and tries to find a new way of looking and translating what he sees." During this period his work also started to reduce in size, reflecting his attempt to represent bodies and heads according to how he saw them at a distance.

"I saw nothing but countless details. To see the whole I had to push the model further and further back. The more distant the head, the more it shrank in size, something that terrorised me," Alberto commented. 

 

 You can see more images of the work here

 

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[1] – Geneva’s Rath Museum:  Nadia Schneider, curator of the retrospective, told swissinfo.ch. – Nov 11, 2009 

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/giacometti-and-his-geneva-crisis/1305912?ns_mchannel=ps&ns_campaign=DSA&ns_source=adw&ns_linkname=_cat:swissinfo.ch&gclid=CLLY8ujgqMUCFQcewwodsrcARQ

 

Special Gifts - July 2015

Last December, I travelled with my husband Patrick to join his family in a private game reserve so that we could scatter Dad Fossey's ashes (rip beautiful soul whom I loved so much) amongst all that is wild and free AND REAL .... rock, wild grass, antelope, elephant, lion, cheetah, rhino .... sunsets and dust. 

 

It was a special time.  The luxury of the lodge was impressive, but not nearly as impressive as nature.  She always is.

 

Our earth provides us with all we need, and I wish we not only respected her much MUCH more, but that we more regularly thought to partnering with her in simple ways of enjoyment. Sitting under a tree with (real) grass and dust beneath our feet and between our toes is far more rejuvenating and enjoyable than spending a few hundred at a spa under a man-made canopy that holds out the light and the air with some employed person massaging our feet.  

 

I took along my little case of oils and a few small-size prepared canvases to paint as gifts for the family members that were there to mark the occassion.  

I'd sneak off daily to paint as many strokes as I could before my company was missed and my lack of presence questioned.  The solitude was particularly special as I sat beneath a living work of art enclosed in the wooden window frame at my 'studio' desk.  With each new hour and passing light, it evolved to something new.

I'd packed simple tissue paper as wrapping, knowing that I'd have at my disposal a wide choice of material to decorate and finish off the gifts.  I might just have had more fun wrapping the artworks than making them :-) 

 

We don't have to travel into nature reserves to find  beautiful treasures.  They can be found anywhere ... well, anywhere where Mother Earth is still allowed to 'be'.

These sold works were parcelled for a buyer, who bought them as gifts for her friends. They were finished-off from special finds found in my own Melrose garden.

The Earth is a generous mother.

 

You can see a few more photos of the beautiful reserve here:

 

Enriched

Isn't it interesting how we inadvertently 'match' our surroundings.  

 

Sienna and I stopped in to visit Maggie and to see her latest, and very lovely large landscape paintings that she has been busy with after trips across all of KwaZulu-Natal countrysides.  Her work up on the wall in the background, her kaftan dress and Siennas coat all seemed to blend beautifully.

 

I fetched Joan to deliver our works to the Kznsa Gallery in January for the member's exhibit. Joan had wrapped her artwork in bright orange ... see how it matches her outfit.  My work was wrapped in vialene, the colour and texture was the same as the top I was wearing.

   

 

On Thursday, I visited my friend Ana to see her latest works. Amongst many delightful sights, I was especially drawn to and enjoyed this particular painting.  Ana's apron, her blouse and her hair was perfectly tuned into this fantastic painting of hers (and isn't the light streaming in exquisite!!!!).

 

Enjoying beautiful artworks, and being in the company of my friends is deeply enriching. xxx

Good Company - 2014, August

Sometimes studio work hours are long, and particularly in preparation for an exhibition, these can be well into the night, early in the morning and over entire weekends.

Sienna's been a delightful and constant companion.  Always close by, sometimes even with her paw over my foot ... reassuring me that it's all gonna be okay, press on :-)

For the exhibition Understory, I just couldn't get all ready on time so I coerced the accountant-farmer-friend-husband of mine Patrick to give me a hand with finishing off the mounted borders.

I really did delight in his exclaiming how "this isn't so easy ... or so quick" comment. Hmmhmm ;-)

You can see more photos of the work in my Studio on Melrose here: 

Babylon Burning - 2015, April

It's always so nice to see my works in the buyer's home.  

I visited my good friend Maria's beautiful new space that overlooks the ocean with full length windows allowing such fantastic fresh light that creates a wonderful space for this red hot burning artwork called Babylon Burning.  

 

Conversations: Frogs n Bats n Things

For a previous exhibition, Joan Martin and I exchanged postcards.

The process was wonderful, and rewarding. I enjoyed discovering new ways of ‘making art’ within a process that although fun still had meaning and purpose.

We both felt we’d like to continue communicating creatively with a particular purpose through a process of exchange, but thought to do so this time by means of ‘assemblage’ works instead.

As with our postcards before, the only ‘rule’ was to respond and then that the work would be three-dimensional.

Joan started this new conversation.  You can see her work here.   She has used the carcass of a frog which I had found ‘preserved’ in my studio fan sometime back.

Perhaps because I have frequently used nails in my art before, I immediately responded to these in Joan’s piece.  I then also really loved the meaning of her work, that of the transient nature of our lives.

2015 is very much a year of transition for me in many respects and on many fronts, most especially that of my children ‘moving out of home’.

Like Joan’s frog lies in a halo of nails, suggesting hardship … my Mary-figure also has a halo of twelve nails and is embedded on a piece of wood previously rotting, now beautifully preserved in many layers of bonding formulae.

Like Joan used something that I had given her, I have used something that she has given me;  the long strips of text are from a poem titled “Bat” by DH Lawrence that Joan had discovered in her research for our last exhibition.  Significant is the theme that explores a “shifting in human consciousness”…. a transition, and then that of the juxtaposition of joy and fear.

   

My Flying Figures

It felt like i was flying, when i heard the good news that my artwork had received second prize at the recent Member's Exhibition at the KZNSA.

Artists were encouraged to engage with the ethos of the gallery with the theme of TRANSOFORMATION-INCUBATION-ACTIVATION

As I'm still thoroughly enjoying working in mixed media in small 10x15cm formats, I responded with thirteen of these blocks, interspersed with little flying figures suspended on the wall inbetween the blocks.

My statement pretty much sums up my response:

We All Seek To Be Free
"We each have our own landscape, the geography of which is determined by our own unique circumstances. We are though, all connected in some way or another. In the end we each most likely want the same thing - freedom."

You can view the individual works, and a few gallery photos on my Facebook Artist Page here