INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN TRAD AND NEW MEDIA
MELLONY TAPER is a contemporary British artist who explores the world through an interdisciplinary approach to the creation and merging of trad and digital media: painting, drawing, photography and exploratory digital creation strategies.
Her work explores human perceptions of time, place, memory and identity through the creation and layering of traditional and digital media. Describing them variously as ‘timescapes ’ and ‘memoryscapes’, this is a metaphysical, psycho-geographical interpretation of accepted notions of contemporary landscape art.
In making and merging original paintings, drawings and photographs, multi-dimensional works are created that challenge our fixed notions of time and place. Taper’s working process is alchemical and serendipitous: a fusion of many photographic moments and memories of a place, with paintings or drawings created in or of that place - greater than the sum of its parts.
Taper calls these works ‘palimpsests’: layers upon layers, partially obliterated, layered again, written and overwritten, with glimpses of other places, other times still partly visible.
In these layers lie the imprint of lives led, traces left, memories half recalled, a sense of place that is felt rather than remembered. In the shadow of 2020, the layers trap and record a fractured world in time.
In this year of lockdown, themes of distance and alienation - and their various definitions - have become stronger and more obvious; the subsequent and still-evolving body of workLife, Twice Removedreflects these ideas in their layers of bodies and time. Multiple layers fracture and distort, or provide only subtle visual inconsistencies, leading to a sense of dis-ease, something off-kilter, imperfect; a world viewed through a distorted pane of glass or a cracked mirror. The implications of ‘distance’, ‘alienation’, many bodies in a space, force the viewer to consider these images in fresh and more sinister ways.
MELLONY TAPER graduated from Wimbledon School of Art (now UAL) when it was still the last major independent London art school; she has also studied Contemporary Writing at the University of Middlesex. She is a member of the RWA Artist Network and a 2020 finalist in the VAO emerging artist awards. Mellony lives and works in the south west of England. Her work is grounded in a metaphysical sense of place and the psychogeography of place memory, and this geographic area is rich in both personal and broader collective associations (tourism, seaside holiday memories, childhood experiences, the realities of living year-round in a holiday town) that inform her current work.