‘The Fight for Colour and Wonder’ is the intriguing title of a first solo exhibition of paintings by emerging Portarlington artist, Melissa Donagher.
Although still in her early 20s the young Portarlington woman is creating a stir on the arts scene with her bold take on colour and imaginative interpretation.
Her exhibition will open at the French Restaurant on French Church Street, Portarlington at 7pm on Friday, September 22. It is one of the official programme of events marking Culture Night.
With a vibrant flare for fairy-tale fuelled imagery Melissa Donagher recalls that since childhood she has found comfort and peace by delving into the dreamscape of the imagination, “a magical escape into my own world.”
While Melissa has little formal training in painting or drawing she credits the time she spent in the art department of Abbeyleix Centre for Further Education as a “critical time in my life when things could have gone either way.” She is wholesome in her credit to the tutors in Abbeyleix for their skill and enthusiasm.
Drawing on this fountain of encouragement Melissa still prefers her own freestyle approach rather than being “overly influenced by formal teaching.”
Her debut exhibition of works is a culmination of her own deeply personal journey and this particular series of paintings portrays an insight of her own emotional challenges and struggles, emerging through hope into a time of renewed strength and positivity.
The paintings are at once striking and beguiling often worked on in the deep of night as Melissa often finds this time the most creative and opportune. She takes inspiration from renowned artists such as Dali (Spanish) and Kahlo (Mexican).
For the future she is developing her concepts to include the medium of the human body as her ‘canvases’. Melissa is continually conceptualising and experimenting with alternative formats through which to express her work. She is most interested in merging aspects of the human form and emotions in synchronicity with the paintings.
“I hope that my paintings in some way may be able to help others to evoke in themselves their deepest personal emotions that we all struggle to reach at times in our daily lives. This is at the core of my motivation and inspiration for these paintings that feature in ‘The fight for colour and wonder,’
‘The Fight for Colour and Wonder’, an exhibition of paintings my Melissa Donagher opens in The French, Portarlington on Friday, September 22 at 7pm.
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