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About

Melissa Hartley is a self taught artist, that studied graphic design and who has been working for the last 17 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.

Education

University of Western Sydney – Nepean 1991-1993
Bachelor of Arts (Design) with Distinction Major – Graphic Design/Illustration

Exhibitions

AWARDS & PRIZES

2017
March: North Sydney Art Prize - 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

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016
November: "Nocturnal 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

2016
December: "Kindred Souls & Spirit Animals" group show, Alexi Era Gallery, Oregon, 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

Press

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

Influences

Hieronymus Bosch
Salvador Dali
Mark Ryden
Willem van Aelst
Vermeer
Rachel Ruysch
Caravaggio

31cm (W) x 31cm (H)
Acrylic on cradled wooden panel
$955
13cm (W) x 18cm (H)
Acrylic on Italian linen in metal frame
$230
13cm (W) x 18cm (H)
Acrylic on Italian linen in metal frame
$230
13cm (W) x 18cm (H)
Acrylic on Italian linen in metal frame
$230
7cm (W) x 9cm (H)
Acrylic on gessoboard in vintage brass frame
$230
7cm (W) x 9cm (H)
Acrylic on gessoboard in vintage brass frame
$230
27.9cm (W) x 35.6cm (H)
Acrylic on gessoboard
$555
31cm (W) x 31cm (H)
Acrylic on cradled wooden panel
$955
35.6cm (W) x 45.7cm (H)
Acrylic on gessoboard
$555
35cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Acrylic on Italian linen
$1,730