Lara Mellon’s passion for life, her love of people and the earth, and her generosity of spirit is evident within moments of chatting with her. What sets her apart, however, are two things: a commitment to channel this passion constructively and refusing to be overwhelmed and incapacitated in the face of constant tragedy.
So when Michael Sutcliffe, city manager of Durban, stated that if even 1 000 sex workers fell pregnant during the World Cup it would be a minor problem in a city of four to five million, Lara knew she had to do something. Read More
When my paintings were exhibited overseas, I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment
Artist LARA MELLON, 41, lives in Durban North, KZN with her husband, Patrick, and their two children, Andrea, 20, and James, 16.
I started painting 10 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I have always been an artist in my heart but never had the time to pick up a paintbrush and start painting. But in 2000, after giving a complex answer to one of the directors at work, he eyeballed me from over his glasses and said slowly, “Paint. Paint. Paint.” I understood exactly what he meant. I had to stop overcomplicating things and get on with it. So that is what I did. Read More
The intimate connection between humans and the earth is the foundation stone of all Lara Mellon’s work. “I grew up on a small farm [outside Springs on the East Rand] hence my strong connection to the earth, which is also a strong focus of my work at the moment,” the artist tells me when we meet at the KZNSA Gallery in Bulwer Road, Durban. “My work is all about connections between the earth and people.” Mellon, who lives in Durban North with her husband, Patrick, and children, Andrea and James, works mainly in mixed media and oil on canvas, although right now she’s concentrating on photo collages on an oil painted landscape base. “The people in the pictures are placed in such a way that it appears that they are emerging from the paint,” she explains. “The mood that comes across in Africa in all its uniqueness, its vibrancy.” Read More
Kizo at the Gateway mall is abuzz with artists, art lovers, socialites, friends and family. People hover in front of the diverse works of the five participating local artists - Lara Mellon, Maggie Strachan, Joan Martin, Lesley Magwood-Fraser and Rene Leslie – chat, exchange opinions, sip wine and debate the issues of the day. Read More
FIVE respected Durban artists show their latest works at the KlZO Gallery at Gateway in an exhibition titled Scratching the Surface which will be opened at 6pm today.
It's strange that these artists are respected by Durban art-lovers, and that many collectors buy their work, yet they are not represented in nationally important public collections, or national galleries or museums. 'To get there, they perhaps have to extend themselves to go beyond scratching the surface. Read More
EARTH, Light and Spirit, an exhibition of works by Durban-based artists Maggie Strachan, Lara Mellon and Roz Cryer, recently opened at artSPACE Durban and will run until Saturday 13 October
The three artists work together regularly sharing ideas, feedback, support and encouragement from each other.
"We are each, in our individual ways, inspired by our perceptions of the Earth, by the way it is transformed by Light and Shadow, and by the Spirit which infuses it." said Lara Mellon. Read More
EARTH, Light and Spirit, an exhibition of works by Durban-based artists Maggie Strachan, Roz Cryer, and Lara Mellon (from Durban North), recently opened at artSPACE Durban and runs to Saturday, 13 October.
The three artists work together regularly sharing ideas, feedback, support and encouragement with each other.
"We are each, in our individual ways, inspired by our perceptions of the earth, by the way it is transformed by light and shadow, and by the spirit which infuses it, " agree the artists. Read More
Combining industrial grit with conceptual gusto is artSPACE durban, the first gallery in town in a long while to eschew the suburbs and defy convention by setting up shop in the industrial surrounds of Umgeni Road, next door to landmark establishment Waste Centre.
The bold move has paid off handsomely - the gallery has rapidly built a reputation for its stalwart championing of iconoclastic contemporary art and maintains an impressive turnover of quality exhibitions. Read More
Says Lara: "For as long as I can remember, I have sketched, drawn, painted and been involved in the creative process. Although not coming from a creative family, at the loss of my baby sister I was said not to have left my mother's side. Pen in hand and armed with whatever was available to draw on, I sketched first in church where I was not allowed to make a peep ... and haven't stopped since. Read More
DURBAN has a wide range of fine and varied art on view and among the more exciting exhibitions currently to be seen is that at Gallery 415.
Situated at 415 Umgeni Road, the gallery presents 777, an exhibition of work by seven of Durban's best young illustrators. Read More
womanalive - pg45 - July 2005
How did you get started?
I have been painting and drawing all my life, but it was when I went on a Christian retreat called The Walk to Emmaus back in 1995 that I began to see things differently. I realised that the Lord does not require perfection - just honesty and authenticity, and for me to live my life with what he's already given me. We had to do projects and I was required to do drawings. I realised that what I regarded as 'just a little bit of talent' was really appreciated and even needed by other people. So often we think that our talents are for ourselves, for our own advancement, when in fact they are not ours at all. We need to offer them back to God. Read More
TODAY - pgs 28-29 - November 2004
Fiona Veitch Smith talks to artist Lara Mellon about how her artistic gift turned into a ministry and a brush with death gave her a new appreciation of life.
I FIRST MET LARA MELLON (OR BENDEMAN AS SHE WAS THEN) IN art class when we were 13. By the end of the year it was clear that she had the talent and I ... well, I dropped art and took up typing! Now 22 years later, we've met again through Friends Reunited, and I'm still typing and she's still painting. We were thrilled to hear that we're both Christians and serving the Lord through our respective gifts of writing and art. Read More