A haptic practice with thread-based crafts at its core, Melanie’s artwork pays attention to the inner tension between the need to nurture and a feeling of entrapment associated with motherhood; that is maternal ambivalence.
Her personal perspective is of a mother of an adult with learning difficulties, where the mother-child relationship becomes trapped in a dependent phase. Repetitive conversations form a considerable part of the interactions with her adult son. Within these intense exchanges are brief pauses in the flow of words that are relished. She has been considering her own thoughts to fill these ‘slivers of silence’ and stitching them into ribbons of words.
I trained and worked as a primary teacher early on in my career, then motherhood took over and I had a break to bring up my family. I returned to work as a teaching assistant and supply teacher part time, before I took the plunge and embarked on an access course in art and design. I haven't looked back since, gaining a BA, followed by an MA in Fine Art, and I am at present continuing my research and putting together a proposal to study for a PHD.
My children are in their twenties now, but my son is autistic, so is still dependent on me for support. My artwork has gradually honed in on this as a focus for my creativity, paying attention to how it feels to have a need to be the nurturer, but feeling trapped by the needs and responsibilities of others.