Tunnel Vision (diptych)

These paintings explore the idea of memory and sentimentality. In a world that changes swiftly all around us there is a tendency to hold onto something of the past to keep ourselves grounded and centered. But our nostalgia is deceptive, as memories also change. They morph with different events and fade with time, until they appear more like a foggy dream rather than a lived experience. With these paintings I try to depict a memory in motion. One that is changing as the result of external forces but hasn’t yet been completely lost.

Mirage

This tapestry inspired work was created as an experiment with depicting imagery solely with the use of cut-up and collaged fabrics. Mirage depicts landscapes and architecture from old analog photographs taken in India. The red warm tones of the earth are transformed to turquoise blue in the photonegatives, represented through the use of a cut-up embroidered dress. The abstracted shapes hover above the surface allowing for movement with the slightest breeze.

The Overgrowth (diptych)

This digital painting diptych started out as an experiment with layering and inverting a single photograph onto itself multiple times in photoshop. The original image depicted a willow tree hung over, with its branches submerged in a lake. The image featured unique organic shapes and lines from the branches that were abstracted by the reflections of the water. Through the experimentation, a humanoid figure appeared in the branches. 

Fear Is Not Quiet

Through art I record my observations of the world around me, so that I can learn more about what I’m seeing and make sense of it. A found photonegative of myself as a child, afraid, inspired me to explore the concept of fear. I had no memory of this moment or context in order to understand this photo. All I could see was myself, backed up against a wall, hands to my face, afraid. I wanted to paint this emotion not just with the expression on my face, but through colour to show the intensity of the emotion. Fear is not a quiet emotion that can easily be ignored or hidden; it’s loud and demands attention. Your brain becomes hyper alert causing your heart to beat faster, pupils dilate, breathing accelerates, and you start to sweat and tremble, heat rushes to your face, or you experience chills. You feel faint, butterflies in your stomach, ringing in your ears, numbness or a sensation of pins and needles, and you feel confused and disoriented. These overwhelming feelings of anxiety can be very frightening and distressing to experience, so much so that people can develop a fear of fear itself because of these intense emotion and physical reactions. But experiencing fear is unavoidable and can occur suddenly and without warning. 

Toronto, ON, Canada | melissapatelart@gmail.com |