Melissa Hartley is a self taught artist, that studied graphic design and who has been working for the last 19 years in Publishing in Sydney and Edinburgh. In 2010 she decided to pick up the paint brush again and pursue her love of painting.Her compositions feature darkly poetic female portraits against undefined backgrounds, in a void or dream-like state. These mystical portraits of women, almost haunting in their beauty, are seeped in the natural world, each work contains an element of the supernaturally surreal. They are contradictions within themselves, brought to sensual life through surrealistic icons & symbols. Each subject is attractive yet somehow disturbing.She’s inspired by many things, but her paintings predominately draw on the sublime beauty of nature, old traditional craftsmanship, especially botanical illustrations of the past, and fashion photography.Melissa desires to create images of beauty and mystery that allow the viewer to find their own personal significance in them, traversing emotions that reside deep within our own subconscious.Melissa was a finalist in the 2014 Kilgour Art Prize and winner of the People's choice award at the 2016 Kirribilli Art Prize.
University of Western Sydney – Nepean 1991-1993 Bachelor of Arts (Design) with Distinction Major – Graphic Design/Illustration
AWARDS & PRIZES 2017 September: Mosman Art Prize - finalist March: North Sydney Art Prize - Winner: Award for Painting June: Lethbridge 10000 Art Award 2017 - finalist 2016 September: Gosford Art Prize - finalist Northbridge Art Prize - finalist May: Kirribilli Art Prize - finalist, people's choice award 2014 March: The Kilgour Prize - finalist EXHIBITIONS Solo exhibitions 2016 November: "Noctural Heartstrings", 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, Australia 2015 March: "The Tarnished Age", 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, Australia 2013 July: "Phases de la lune", Auguste Clown Gallery, Melbourne, Australia Group exhibitions 2017 July: "Small works" group show. BeinArt Gallery, Melbourne, Australia February: "Lover's eye" group show. Modern Eden Art Gallery, San Francisco, USA 2016 December: "Kindred Souls & Spirit Animals" group show, Alexi Era Gallery, Oregon, USA "Wanderlust 4", group show. Modern Eden Art Gallery, San Francisco, USA October: "Mission Blue" group show, Haven Gallery, New York, USA July: "Tokens of Love" group show, Copycat violence online show May: "Happy" group show, 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, Australia March: "BeMused" group show - Copycat Violence Art Collective, Penumbra Gallery, Loures, Portugal 2015 December: "Wanderlust", group show. Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA November: "Interiors", group show - Copycat Violence Art Collective. Gristle Art Gallery, Brooklyn, USA October: 'Les Petit Fours', group show beautiful.bizarre & Friends of Leon Gallery Invitational, Friends of Leon Gallery, Sydney, Australia August: "Pain/ting", group show, presented by 19KAREN Contemorary Artspace, Open Walls Gallery, Berlin, Germany. May: "Spring Unveiling Arts Festival" group show. Archimedes Gallery, Oregon, USA February: "Myth, magic and lore" group show. Bash Contemporary, San Francisco, USA 2014 November: "Thoughts on a grey day" group show. Archimedes Gallery, Oregon, USA "Kilgour Art Prize". Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, Australia July: "Temple of the Soul: bodies and sacred systems" group show. Alexi Era Gallery, St Louis, Missouri, USA June: "Kulture Klash" group show. Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, USA "Wilderness" group show. Auguste Clown Gallery,, Melbourne, Australia May: "On Beauty" group show. Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA April: "Universe: the art of existence" group show. Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA January: "Tarot Under Oath" group show. Last Rites Gallery, New York, USA 2013 November: "Grand Opening" group show. Alexi Era Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA August: "Curiosities" group show. Modern Eden Gallery, San Fransisco, USA May: "The Art of Cirque Du Soleil" group show. 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace Hosted by Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia "The Language of Flowers" group show. Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA February: "Venice" group show. Modern Eden Gallery, San Fransisco, USA 2012 November: "Vanishing Points" group show. Auguste Clown Gallery, Melbourne, Australia May: "Small is beautiful" Pyrmont Art Prize in association with Tap Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2016 November: beautiful.bizarre 2015 November: "Interiors" group show, Hi-Fructose "Interiors" group show, beautiful.bizarre July: "Virtuosos of Paint", Out of Steps books May: The Traveler issue, Avari Magazine April: U on Sunday liftout, Sunday Mail March: beautiful.bizarre Issue 8 2014 Tarot Under Oath, Art book June: beautiful.bizarre Issue 5, special edition, "INKED" group feature February: Hi-Fructose online feature (Tarot Under Oath) 2013 July: beautiful.bizarre, Issue 1 June: Pony Anarchy Issue 10 interview March: The Flying Fruit Bowl online feature 2012 July: Nothing to Nobody Issue 9 July-Sept 2012, Interview June: la21f.com Interview May: www.dumpjekunst.nl online feature March: Curvy online feature Artist directory online Q&A
Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, Mark Ryden, Willem van Aelst, Vermeer, Rachel Ruysch, Caravaggio and so many more!