Melissa Hartley Melissa Hartley

Medium: Acrylic on gessoboard

Renaissance and Old Master still lives lent exquisite detail to the pathos and sensual fire of a brief blooming beauty. A contemporary approach to the ancient theme of the Memento Mori places the flower centre-stage for the passion play between life and death. The symbolism behind the staged beauty of the still life runs deep. Plunged into the compositional void of a completely black background, Melissa Hartley heightens the vulnerability of the image and her spiritually rich subject matter. These are not the reassuring bouquets of daylight and refined interiors but night blooms of the dreamscape. As the artist reflects: “The chiaroscuro affect is used for the sake of drama and the emotional impact it implies. Things start to manifest in the dark, our loves, our fears.”


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