MELINDA SCHNEIDER & SONIA COX
More information soon
OPENING EVENT – Saturday August 5th from 3pm – Officially opened by Mayor MAREE STATHAM
Including a special performance by Melinda Schneider
Each of our featured artists will be spending an entire day in the Gallery, we would love for you to join them
MELINDA SCHNEIDER – TBA
SONIA COX – TBA
Who are you, really? Which traits are natural? Which ones have been nurtured… moulded? If you’re anything like me, these questions are unsettling. For the answers, I needed to explore a medium devoid of words. You see, words and melodies were the artistic tools I’d employed for decades – but to unpick the stitches of perfectionism, which had come to imprison me – I craved visual abstraction. Abstract Expressionism, in fact. This fluid style, wielded so eloquently by artists such as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Barnett Newman, inspired me to break free from the unrelenting standards that kept the real me hidden behind a shiny smile and a veil of ‘perfect’ celebrity fog. Behind the fog, I was lost in a deep sea of depression. Painting was my lighthouse. It led me to be free and express myself without the critical inner voice.
I created these works by applying acrylic to plywood with brushes, twigs, rollers, rags and sponges. I adore plywood for all it’s gorgeous flaws. My techniques are akin to the rhythmic pulse of song writing. I draw inspiration from the fauna, flora and ancient spirituality of the Bouddi Peninsula (GuriNgai Country) – my home. When I started these paintings, I’d hoped to convey my frustration, and speak to other trauma survivors. What eventuated was quite different. These works have uncovered an organic, gentle strength – perhaps, this is my true nature. The one I was born with… whole, complete, unique. My hope is that you see your own journey in these works and feel a sense of resolution. My hope is that you see, and embrace, your natural self.
We all inherit some traits from our parents but how these develop and shape the person we are to become depends on how well we are loved, how safe we feel and how much we are encouraged to be our best self. I believe we are the sum of our spiritual, emotional and physical experiences. Our earliest memories and our perception and the feelings we attribute to them leave a road map or, perhaps, a life map, in our minds. How we choose to use this map, and what directions we choose to take, will depend on how safe, supported and loved we feel at any given crossroad. I have been extremely lucky to have always felt loved, safe and encouraged to be the best I could be.
I am a local woman who proudly embraces both my rural and Wiradjuri heritage. My artworks reflect the importance of nature to my own wellbeing. Both my painting and sculpture depict native flora and fauna. The paintings are imbued with vibrant colour that represent my emotional response to the subtle tones of the Australian landscape and the subject matter I have chosen. The artworks are painted directly onto layered paperbark that I have collected from a variety of sources. They have inbuilt texture and depth. Images appear and disappear through colour and pattern prompting the viewer to spend time with the painting. This time is not dissimilar to the mediative qualities of nature.
The bronze sculptures have been cast using the lost wax method. Their construction generated sensations of play reminiscent of a happy childhood and the simple joy of creating and being.
I have a strong interest in the connection between the healing qualities of nature, the act of creating and our own sense of wellbeing.