Melanie Rose

Melanie Rose was born in Northern Ireland. Educated at Winchester School of Art, Trent Polytechnic and Central Saint Martins, she is currently studying for a practice-led PhD in the School of Design at the University of Leeds. The focus of her research is the landscape set within the bounds of the South Downs National Park, explored through drawing, painting, printmaking, and walking.

The focal point of her investigation is the relationship between the figure and the landscape, using traditional materials that are sympathetic to specific topographies including chalk-gesso, egg-tempera and oak-gall ink. Rose is a member of LAND2, a national network of artist/researchers with an interest in place-oriented art and has work in both private and public collections.

Melanie’s background in life drawing is writing the criteria/course for the City and Guilds Life Drawing qualification and being founder of life drawing at Southampton City Art Gallery. She has taught the subject for many years in different gallery/educational settings.

Artist statement

My artwork is inspired by walking the South Downs Way and focusses on topics such as geo-mythology, ecology and the Anthropocene as well as cultural trends, access and artistic movements. Recently I have been especially inspired by artists who have created night-time paintings using the luminosity of the chalk during a full moon. 

Working with and making materials sympathetic to the landscape, including chalk-gesso, egg tempera and oak gall ink, I am now developing a way of painting with oil paint on top of egg tempera to coalesce the figurative with the abstract.

All of the work is about the landscape and the figure whether it is to do with the ghosts of those who have walked in the landscape or who are buried beneath the tumuli, each painting addresses a different part of the South Downs Way and is as much about looking forwards as it is backwards through time and space including the uncanny connections and circular associations.

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