Featured Artist : Helena Melone
Artist Bio / Statement
Silk painter, Heléna Melone, is inspired in form by Japanese seasonal scrolls, and in content by her immediate Maine environments as they transform themselves through the seasons. The wall hangings hang free, un-hemmed, because they are intended to be responsive, interactive pieces, while a hem puts a boundary between the world and the work, breaking that continuous flow of movement and interconnectedness.
Her hand-painted (and often hand-sewn) clothes are also a reflections of a particular place and time, a way to carry and continue to feel our connection to the non-human world and those memories of it which sustain us. Accordingly, they depict those things which are evanescent and passing -- or least light of wing -- as well as specific life forms which, in relationship, inhabit these brief passages of time.
These works are essentially feminine, not only in softness and fluidity, but in that the process of making them requires several intermittent phases of washing and ironing! Those repetitions aside, the silks are sometimes dyed to give a ground tone; stretched on a home-made frame; drawn on, free-hand (without the use of stencils or tracing); and painted with silk paints. The silks vary in weight: some are 5 mm, while others are a grade heavier, 8 mm, which better supports the smaller works. (Larger pieces move gorgeously in the lighter fabric!) The clothing is generally 8mm or 19 mm charmeuse.
Having a dual BA in Studio Art and English from UNH (& an MA in British Literature,
also from UNH), and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (focusing on Dance as a Healing Art)
from Lesley University), Heléna put drawing aside for a while. Yet it was through dance that she gradually found her way back to visual arts. First dyeing silk veils for belly dance, she eventually started painting on them, which led to wanting to focus more on the painting itself. Eventually, that focus brought her back to her first love -- drawing -- and into new realms with her artistic expression. Her pieces can be found at art shows and galleries throughout Maine.