Images © Melanie Goemans 2016. All rights reserved.
July Open Studios
Melanie grew up in the Lincolnshire fens. She spent time in Italy before studying Florentine Renaissance art at the Courtauld Institute, London and Fine Art at the School of Art, University of Gloucestershire. She went on to teach Art and History of Art and take up Artist in Residence posts in Cheltenham and Devon before settling in London. Melanie relocated to the Cambridgeshire fens with her young family in 2010 and now works from her studio in Ely. Over her career, Melanie has exhibited in group and solo shows across the UK including at the Jerwood Space, London; Bridgeman Gallery, London; Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London; Jaggedart, London; Thompson's City Gallery, London; Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London; Florence Trust, London; Quercus Gallery, Bath; Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester; Stratford Gallery, Stratford upon Avon; and most recently Cornwall Contemporary, Penzance. Her work is held in corporate and private collections in the UK and overseas and has recently been selected for the National Open Art Competition; the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition; and the John Moores Painting Prize (second round).
‘The work is a response to my environment, the places in and around which I live the everyday; the new that has become the familiar, that has resonated the thoughts and experiences lived through here. I like that the paintings are mine only briefly while I work on them in my studio. Their life begins when they fly to another context, to a different viewer who I hope will find their own significances in this work. This is the life of the painting. The birds animate the landscape, the heron like a god, disproportionate and mysteriously significant. The stone - the earth - underlines everything, and the trees have been my enduring fascination for the past fifteen years.
I am interested in the overlooked, incidental forms in nature - how painting / printmaking can draw attention to things with no conventional value and mark them as important through the use of traditional materials, such as oil paint, gesso, gold leaf, etching. I like looking at complicated shapes and drawing them with a very fine brush. The act of painting like this feels almost like stitching or weaving, as slowly with each brush mark the work comes together. I used to think art had to be complex to be good, but over time I have realised that keeping things simple or paring them down can make a bigger statement.’ Melanie Goemans
‘This year my favourite visit was to the studio of Melanie Goemans, an artist I hadn’t discovered before ... Hers is a beautifully quiet, subtle, provincial art evoking a sense of transience and of receptiveness. It felt very English and somehow akin to poetry. I could well imagine her work accompanying the poetry of Philip Gross, for example, or Edward Thomas.’ Anthony Haynes, Publisher, 'Noticing Such Things', reposted 2016