Sandra CowanMarch 14, 2019
Her Loft by Chloe McKimApril 18, 2019
Exhibition runs May 14—July 17, 2019
Opening May 23, 2019 from 6-8pm.
This exhibition is part of the 2019 Medalta International Artists in Residence program.
The choice to make anything by hand is a rebellious act because of how time consuming and unnecessary it is economically. Yet socially, we crave slowing down and being present in our busy and hectic lives.
Using clay, Melanie create sculptures of mundane domestic objects, like picture frames and decorative plates, questioning their intended purpose. Her installations highlight every day victories like the chore of doing laundry. This usually simple task can become extremely difficult for someone who is mentally unstable. An enormous pile of neglected clothing or dishes can be a warning sign for a situation that cannot be swept under the rug.
As a child growing up with a mother diagnosed with manic depression, Melanie had a lot of curiosity about what was socially acceptable behaviour. And now, as a young woman in society, she is more aware than ever of the expectations and pressure placed on all women to be perfect. However the concept of perfection is as useful as a ceramic laundry basket.
The aim of Melanie’s work is to shed light on her secondary experience with bipolar disorder, and to help end the stigma around mental illness. “I have always been thankful for my hands which create all that is difficult to say with my lips, and for the imperfect qualities of the handmade to remind us that we are all only human.”
Melanie Kathlene Gaudet grew up in Carseland, a small hamlet southeast of Calgary, Alberta. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Alberta University of The Arts (formerly known as the Alberta College of Art + Design) in 2018. She is currently a long term resident artist at Medalta in Medicine Hat. Her work has been exhibited at the Fifth Parallel Gallery at the University of Regina, the University of Manitoba, as well as the Marion Nicoll Gallery LRT space, and cSPACE King Edward in Calgary, Alberta. Working primarily with clay, she incorporates different media such as paint and found objects to create both large scale installations and handmade pottery.