Melissa Gollan is a Brisbane based contemporary artist who is exhibiting for the first time at Red Hill Gallery in February. Her work is imaginative, quirky and slightly retro; capturing simple and joyful experiences through her love of all things vintage.
AC: Your quirky style has a vintage feel to it. What inspires you?
MG: For as long as I can remember I have had a love for all things vintage; whether it be rummaging through old antique stores for fashion, old vinyl or quirky publications, I find I can get lost in that space for hours. I enjoy taking these older elements and re-creating them somewhat into a contemporary finished piece for today. My drive and personal inspiration to keep producing ever changing works and doing so much of what I love, I contribute to my younger late sister who taught me to ‘never-give-up’ on your dreams and your passion and to live every day to it’s fullest.
AC: Describe your art in a sentence.
MG: Primarily my past works have been completing extremely diverse commissions, and I like to think that this lends itself to me being able to offer clients the opportunity to purchase completed works or the ability to have something created to compliment their chosen space.
AC: What can’t you live without?
MG: I would have to say ‘Music.’ It is often that the creative lyrics of a song play a significant part in the inspiration of my work.
AC: Do you remember your first painting as a child?
MG: My first memory is of a painting I produced of Mickey Mouse at the age of about 5 and what I would say was my first truly significant art piece, a sculpture of a clown completed at about the age of 14. Perhaps I was drawn to the excitement and happiness that both these subjects projected to me at the time.
AC: What music do you listen to whilst you’re working?
MG: I listen to a diverse range of music depending on my mood and the style of work I am working on. At present though one of my favourites after attending Woodford Folk Festival on New Year’s Eve, is a Folk Singer/Songwriter with the one of the most soulful voices, named Ange Takats.
AC: Apart from art what is the next most creative thing you do?
MG: I have recently taken up music again – The cello in particular. I love the collaborative use of such a beautiful classical instrument and integrating it with modern music; in particular indie folk music. I had the fortune to be asked by a good friend of mine recently if I would write him some lyrics for a song, which was again an extremely rewarding creative experience of expression. Ironically it happens to be being recorded on the same night of this exhibition launch - 14th February at a live gig here in Brisbane, by the Empresario’s, which is really exciting!
AC: Your work is dominated by large colour fields, how does colour affect you?
MG: I believe that colour as much as subject matter can produce an array of emotions. I returned from a trip to Europe last September and I found myself influenced to use a much broader and brighter colour palette in this series. Stopping and acknowledging how joyful and colourful our everyday surroundings can be is something that I wanted to express through these works.
AC: What do you like doing when you’re not painting?
MG: When I am not painting I love being outdoors and on the water - At present I am loving paddle-boarding! I also enjoy discovering new live music artists and simply catching up with friends.
AC: Share something about yourself which would surprise our readers.
MG: I love pushing the boundaries and really want to learn the static trapeze! “It’s never to late is it? “
Melissa Gollan will be showing with three other talented female artists in a group exhibition "Women of Substance" at Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane from February 14 until Sunday March 3, 2014.