Melbourne Based Artist Melissa Grisancich is gearing up for her show ” When you Sleep” which opens this friday at RVCA gallery in Melbourne. We caught up to shoot the breeze real quick.
MD: Hey Melissa, how are you?
MELL G: Exhausted but very well thanks!
MD:Tell me a little bit about what you have been cooking up for your show “ when you sleep”?
MELL G: The show will consist of a body of work that I’ve been working on in the RVCA Gallery since January. I’ve been painting, making sculptures, sewing and pushing myself with my work more than I usually would.
MD:There seems to be a subtle nod to religious iconography within the works, If the characters had a religion what would there guidelines be?
MELL G:That’s something I like to carry throughout the themes of my work, iconography and religious iconography are consistent throughout my work but I like to change the story every time I make a new set of work. It comes from my Italian background and what I grew up with, I’m not religious at all but I have basically created my own interpretation on Saints and what they could stand for in my own world. A lot of my characters symbolise strength, anxiety, life and death, happiness and sadness. The bright colours represent the beauty in all of those aspects. I don’t like to use much black or grey at all for that reason.
MD: Is there a definite vision before starting work on a blank canvas or does it evolve with the stokes?
MELL G:This is when I start to think I’m a bit of a strange human being, I can’t use a sketchbook, I have an idea and I may scribble it on some paper so I don’t forget but in most cases it goes straight onto canvas. I get impatient and I know I’ll come up with ideas along the way as I’m painting. I think of ideas when I’m listening to music or simply walking down the street, it’s all very random.
MD:What is your favourite hour of the day and why?
MELL G:Hmm, I’m going to go with 12pm, it’s halfway through the day, lunchtime is soon and that’s when I’m finally awake and ready to be productive.
MD:What are the essentials you need around while creating works, coffee? music? old movies playing in the background?
MELL G:I definitely need no distractions and some music playing. I’ve settled with podcasts now. Other than that a mug of fresh coffee and a few books to look at for ideas.
MD:If you could curate a group show with anyone you wanted dead or alive, who else would you choose? and what would you call it?
MELL G: If I could have Picasso, Frida, and Charles Schulz all come back from the dead to do a show about their childhood in paintings I’d be happy. I wouldn’t be in the show but I’d love to watch and learn from them. I’d let Charles Schulz draw the flyer and name the show with Frida and Pablo as peanuts characters.
MD:Are any of these characters based on stories or characters you have heard/read about? if so tell me about one.
MELL G: One of the saints that I have painted is a homage to Santa Lucia. Lucia is my “saint name” given to me as a child. She is a form of a protector and has a crown of candles and eyes on a platter. She’s also a card that’s stuck to my Nonna’s front door to protect the house. I find that kind of thing beautiful.
MELL G: I want to start working on prints and maybe some zines too.
“When You Sleep” opens on Friday Night 5-8
RVCA GALLERY 82 Stanley Street Collingwood