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Melissa Patel is a Toronto based artist who works primarily in drawing, painting, and photography. She was born and raised in Canada, and is of Portuguese and Indian descent. Her multicultural background has been a key influence in her work, which she uses to explore themes of family, identity, memory, heritage, and her relationship to nature and the environment. She sees her work as a way to interpret and understand the world around her by breaking down real world elements and recapturing them through artistic media. She studied at OCAD University and has a BFA in Drawing and Painting. She currently exhibits her work in galleries across Toronto and in 2019 was one of six notable Canadian emerging artists to exhibit in the Daegu Art Fair in South Korea with Partial Gallery.
My artwork largely explores concepts of escapism through the creation of ‘dream-spaces’ and collective memory. The dream-spaces I create blur the lines between realistic representation and abstraction to create imagery that is both representative of the natural physical world and our emotional sense of the world. Collective memory is the memory of a group of people, passed down from one generation to the next. My own family’s collective memories are a diluted combination of thoughts, feelings, and events and are not an accurate account of reality, but rather a sentimental, idealized version of reality, which I find to be very fascinating. I take this already distorted account of reality and further reimagine it in my own mind, creating my own fabricated memory or story represented through art. I am interested in exploring the relationship between dreaming and memory and how both these things inform my view of the world. My goal is to create artwork that is fulfilling for myself and immersive and captivating for viewers.
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