studied for her BA in Three Dimensional Design at the Surrey Institute
of ARt and Design under Ron Hackney and graduated in 1998. She has
recently completed an M.A. in contemporary crafts at the University for
the Creative Arts after attending Creative Response for a number of
years. There she built up a portfolio of work, skills and confidence
again after years of illness. Attending Creative Response once or twice
a week gave her the confidence to apply for the M.A., and while
attending the M.A. continued at Creative Response for support.
Melissa’s art uses a wide variety of processes and materials combining
new and traditional techniques to make her pieces. Her main material is
ceramics, which she combines with light to achieve the total effect,
she also has an interest in textiles.
For this collection the themes Melissa is exploring involve the maternal
relationship and separation between mothers and their children. There
may be many reasons for such interruption – different ages and cultures
offer many – but she focuses on mental health issues most particularly
post-natal breakdown as seen by the psychiatric profession, the
sensational press, and the intimate and subjective experience of the
sufferer. She herself suffers from a bi-polar disorder.
Processes Melissa uses include slip casting children’s knitted booties
made solid by casting and firing. Porcelain cubes, also slip cast, are
given subtle qualities by sandblasting through a stencil.