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Scratching the Surface - 2011

“Scratching the luxurious surface” of ancient methods Amy Melchior’s first show at a major Auckland dealer gallery opens in November. Melchior has been pain ...

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“Scratching the luxurious surface” of ancient methods

Amy Melchior’s first show at a major Auckland dealer gallery opens in November. Melchior has been painting in the unusual medium of encaustic since 2005, an ancient process involving beeswax and pigments.

This new series of encaustic paintings show etched or inked patterns delicately drawn over a luxurious mixed palette of colours. The pigments have been mixed into the beeswax to produce the base for the final imagery. The patterns have been influenced by the famous English designer William Morris. Early Egyptian and Byzantine artists used this medium, and later well-known artists such as Picasso and Jackson Pollock also experimented with it. Although the process Melchior employs is labour intensive the results are truly unique whereby rich multi-coloured hues and tones can be realized. An almost three dimensional marbleized effect is achieved which is extremely enduring – Egyptian portraits and mummies decorated by this method were discovered almost perfectly intact centuries later. In the 5th century encaustic was used to caulk ships and boats and also to colour marble for ornamentation.

“In this series I have been exploring the ability of the etched patterns to partially veil the forms beneath, creating a duality, that of the surface and of a deeper layer of meaning floating within the works”, says artist Amy Melchior.

“I began by researching the use of pattern used in wallpapers during the late Romantic period in Europe. The influence of renowned designer William Morris on the beauty of surface and repetitive yet organic patterning ushered in an exciting new era that gradually saw his designs and those of his followers, covering the walls of thousands of homes across the world”. Amy is also inspired by William Morris’s golden rule.

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris

These paintings almost go beyond that of a normal artwork due to the hands-on unique effect achieved by the artist in each and every work. Taking this principle into account, design master William Morris would surely approve of Amy Melchior’s work if he saw it. “These special works really need to be seen to be appreciated. We have waited in anticipation for some time for this show” says gallery director Warwick Henderson.

Amy Melchior’s first Auckland Solo Exhibition opens at the Warwick Henderson Gallery, Parnell, with a Preview opening on Tuesday 8th November at 5.30pm – 7.30pm.

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The Exhibition runs from the 9th November – 26th November 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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