Melanie Berman

In British artist Melanie Berman’s large-scale paintings, landscapes dissolve from the recognisable into blurred, abstract suggestions of memory. The artist’s recent direction represents a synthesis of nearly three decades of work, from her training and employment in fashion design to years of life drawing, textile design and the traditional landscape paintings she made after returning to University for her Fine Art degree -B.A.(Hons) in 2004.

Traces are at the core of the paintings in Berman’s new body of work – the traces left behind by human interaction with the natural world, be that initials carved on a tree, footpaths or a mere line of pebbles. Berman applies and then scrapes away layer upon layer of paint, building and deconstructing images imbued with lines, shapes even letters scratched into the canvas, which Berman compares to letters carved into bark and warped by a tree’s growth. The result is a style of painting that creates feelings of motion, texture and space and draws directly on her lifelong experience of dyslexia, which has forced her to develop her own very personal language of abstract symbols.

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