Melissa Hamlyn creates
Melissa Hamlyn Creates







Melissa Hamlyn

CV Bio

I am somewhat of an introvert often found absorbed in thought questioning my existence, wondering about my life direction (and where I put my phone) wading in creative ideas (and looking at Instagram stories about my friend's cat). *But* when I'm not engrossed in the endless scroll of social media distractions or spending my rent money on books you can find me in my Kensington art studio in Sydney making textile art, writing and dabbling in digital mediums. I am *also* frequently caught daydreaming about my next holiday destination.

Growing up in the *really* humid and sultry confines of Brisbane, Australia *also known as a big country town of around 2 million* surrounded by sun lovers and tanlines it quickly became clear that this town wasn’t for me. I always felt different as a child. I was always involved with subcultures. I was a Goth kid in my teens until my early 20s. I became curious about travel then too. I wanted to get out of Brisbane and immerse myself in a *completely* different environment. This led me to Norway to experience SNOW *I’d never seen snow apart from on the TV, I was 25 when I finally saw it in real life*, fjords and their other cultural export Black Metal (Oh and The Scream, thanks Munch.).

I eventually abandoned the Goth scene, and spent several years travelling the world, supporting myself by working in the hospitality industry .I’ve spent a lot of money and years travelling, and I’ve spent a lot of time and money on my second great indulgence - tattoos - but that’s another story for another time!

Unsurprisingly I didn’t want to live in Brisbane on my return ten years ago from one of my many travel stints *so* I moved to Melbourne in 2008. I have always been drawn to and inspired by artists, musicians and other creatives. In 2014 I decided to formally pursue my interests and started a Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT.

My favourite mediums to work with are photography, fabric and collage. A writer as well as a visual artist, I often integrate written word into my art and make zines that poke fun at the art world, its pomp and bumph.

*So*, how did I get into textiles? Well, I’ve always loved the tactility of paint and during my first year of university I would pour acrylic paint onto cling film and let it set - the next day I would peel it off - like a kaleidoscopic skin. Then I would try different types of adhesives to piece each acrylic skin together, then drape it over chairs, beams, trees, *anything really*. They were fragile, ephemeral installations that would eventually expire so I would scan them so I had a digital record of what I’d made. Eventually, I started printing the digital images onto fabric and I’ve been trying different ways of creating patterns for fabric ever since!

I love the endless possibilities you get with digital mediums, the editing, re-editing and repositioning of shapes and colours is fascinating to me, it’s quick, easy and practically free. I could make hundreds of iterations a day if I had the time. I get inspiration from every day, I could be motivated by the motif on a bus seat or an overheard conversation * I’ve written some of my favourite short stories this way*.

My fabric designs are created from photos; I take an image then manipulate it using computer coding, the photos are *usually* from trips I’ve taken from places *like* India or New York or from spaces I spend a lot of time in *zigzagging* my way around Sydney too and from work. Once created I send them off to be printed onto fabric.

I use experimental machine stitching paired with *intarsia* and *moulage*, French words and therefore *sophisticated* ways to say drape, mould and pair together blocks of colour. I love to experiment by putting together different shapes, patterns and prefabricated parts. I piece it all together using a sewing machine then it is further enhanced with hand stitching.

*And* the writing? That stems from childhood. I used to write a lot as a child, a short note like prose intended to be read out loud to inform my audience, I studied to be a news anchor that didn’t happen, but I still write. Sketches, snippets of overheard conversations, microfictions, impressions, academic essays all form a plethora of characters in my own unique writing style.

I guess my greatest pleasure is doing what I want to do. Unencumbered by the conventional constraints of a woman my age, such as a mortgage or children I derive great satisfaction from shaping my life exactly the way I want it. My ideas change and I move my goal posts, but I’m doing what I want to do, electing to chart my own meandering course, as if my body, and my life itself, were one big, bold, evolving piece of art.





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