Student Conversation - Melissa Ellis
"Just with the physical making, I can’t have the Great Barrier Reef explosion of life, but I can, if I create it in print."
Melissa on her recent work
I have an artist statement which kind of tends to ground me. My work is based on the juxtaposition of the beautiful and the strange, the weird and the sublime, the dark and the unnatural. It’s a process of cherry picking delicious pieces of weirdness and informing a context around them. I have two strands to my practice, making and copper plate etching. Etching is enormously time consuming, you have ten etches be- fore you get what you want, but it gives you time to reflect on what you’re doing. Really great and wonderful things happen as it goes along. Then you get the plate, you print and print and print. So it’s a journey.
I can go to the Natural History Museum and want to own these things I can’t have. I take ownership of them by making them my way and through my particular lens. I began these in or around November of last year, which is the time that the Great Barrier Reef spawns, so there’s an explosion of life of micro-organisms flooding the place. You look into the print, more detail, more interesting little features. Just with the physical making, I can’t have the Great Barrier Reef explosion of life, but I can, if I create it in print.
On Fine Art Print
I think there’s an awful lot of freedom in print for somebody like me, who I wouldn’t necessarily see as a conceptual artist.