Irving Contemporary in East Oxford is delighted to host this solo exhibition by Ely-based artist Melanie Goemans presenting new paintings from 2022. Melanie works using traditional methods and media - often oil and gold leaf on gessoed linen. She seeks out the incidental, overlooked forms and the seasonal shifts in nature, and draws attention to them in her beautiful paintings and etchings.
Melanie paints the details and natural forms of trees and leaves, sometimes also birds, with a wonderful sensitivity, exploring the structures and patterns of nature in the criss-crossing branches and tangled vegetation, while a quiet yet almost palpable presence of nature’s energy gently thrums in the spaces around. There is a strong graphic quality to many of Melanie’s works, which, while exquisitely descriptive, sometimes also contain passages in which the calligraphic lines become almost abstract in the complex interlocking patterns they create. The works have a visual sparseness and elegance, in which large areas of pale ground balance the detailed silhouettes of branches, flowers, and leaves. These atmospheric paintings capture a memory, a distillation of a moment passed.
“In the early morning I walk between the railway line and the river. Small seasonal shifts, incidental things we might rush past usually, become more noticeable walking the same paths like a ritual. I look at what is permanent and fixed, and what is transient and temporary, and conclude that everything is changing, even in this moment. What I photograph and paint is not there now and the painting becomes like a ghost, a trace of a memory of something that inevitably will never be exactly the same again.” – Melanie Goemans
Opening Dates and Times