Mel Perkins was born in London and has grown up and lived in Suffolk for 22 years. Perkins completed a UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and a UAL Award in Drawing in 2016. She then went on to graduate with a BA Hons in Fine Art in 2019. Perkins continues to live and work in Suffolk and is a new up and coming artist.
Perkins is always altering, re-constructing, manipulating and exploring in different and similar styles, understanding the formal qualities of the materials and mediums she works with. Philosophy and personal mental health can dictate the direction of Perkins’ work and processes.
Perkins begins most projects through the form of photography. When Perkins records the world through the lens of a camera it magnifies the specific viewpoints at a very personal level of seeing. Abstract linear marks and detailed shapes start to appear and this is a crucial point at which her ideas begin to form and engage with the surroundings she is documenting in. Perkins then also begins to draw or write but also uses these mediums to begin new projects when the camera is not in use.
Photographic works are an exploration of depth perception. Perkins challenges the angles and places at which subject matter can be photographed. The boundaries of the foreground and background are broken and misleading, leaving the viewers gaze to sink into final compositions of abstract or literal imagery. Untraditional paintings and drawings Perkins creates have a similar aim but compositions fluctuate between mixed media, minimalism and abstraction.
A re-occurring theme within ongoing works, that Perkins is currently working on, is forming abstract compositions that are neither 2D or 3D, but works that belong in between this ephemeral border. The key inspiration for this idea came from Perkins photographing cliff faces on the West Coast beaches of Portugal, where she visits annually. Perkins said ‘standing next to these gigantic forms of the earth’s crust, slowly turning into sand, future dust, you can feel yourself, not as a stranger in this world, you can feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, you will know what you are basically deep down, is simply the fabric and structure of nature and existence itself, that there is an infinite circle to life and humans are part of it’. To achieve this ambiguous concept of work that belongs between 2D and 3D, Perkins explores multiple combinations of creative mediums to achieve this ambiguous concept. She uses untraditional materials and methods to form ‘wall sculptures’ and various other abstract works that protrude from the surface of the picture plane
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