Melissa Alley

Auto Trance Paintings

In the aftermath of losing my second child to FSIDS in 2006 I had a compulsion to make abstract paintings without any conscious control. Some time after making the works I found that people and animals had manifested themselves within my paintings without my conscious awareness. Dylan's loss was unexplained and I sought answers through a medium. I began to train with her in a psychic circle. After a while she suggested I bring my drawing materials and she would invite people to sittings. My hand would just start moving, knowing what colour to pick up and what mark to put down. I did not know what was being manifested as it was happening. However, they were rich in accurate information about the person's life. Meanwhile, my own practice developed and I began to make what I call, Auto Trance Portraits. These paintings encapsulate an individual’s life with details emerging through patient observation and benefitting from being re-visited with an open mind. Some of them are inspired by photographs, others from handwriting, sometimes just by thinking of a person their information flows out on to the paper or wood. I have a gift to empathise and I have found since my childhood that I have just instinctively known things about people. I have always held a desire to heal and help others in their transformation and I am a practising mesmerist and hypnotherapist. I have taken a leap of faith to make the work that I do. I do feel guided to do it but equally, at times I feel isolated from contemporary art practice and very alone in that way.

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