Melanie Colosimo is an interdisciplinary artist based in Kjipuktuk / Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received a BFA from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB (2006) and an MFA from the University of Windsor, in Windsor, ON (2011). Using soft, simple materials such as fabric and cut paper, Colosimo creates drawings and installations that address themes collectivity, power and care. Her work has been presented in festivals and galleries internationally and across Canada such as AKA Gallery (SK) the Art Gallery of Windsor (ON), the Atlantic Film Festival (NS), Eastern Edge Gallery (NL), and Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery (NS), the Guangdong Museum of Art, (Guangzhou) and the He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen. She has participated in multiple residencies at the Centre for Art Tapes, University of Windsor, the Banff Centre and at the Vermont Studio Centre in Johnson, Vermont. She represented Atlantic Canada on the 2017 and 2020 Sobey Art Award long-list. Colosimo is also the Director/Curator of the Anna Leonowens Gallery Systems at NSCAD University where she facilitates over 200 exhibition & events annually. In 2016 she was responsible for developing and piloting the Art Bar +projects, a venue for performance art, events and happenings at NSCAD.
My relationship to Atlantic Canada and my nostalgia for it has left an indelible mark on my work. I am interested in how communities are formed and thrive but also fade and transition with the fluctuating economic landscape of our region. My large-scale drawings depicting fences as fallible devices of inclusion and exclusion have served as an impetus for adapting utilitarian materials often associated with construction -such as pylons and safety vests- into soft sculpture installations. Committing to simple materials - cut paper, graphite and fabric- I draw out larger themes of collectivity, access and care, critically examining notions of progress, gender inequality and proto-masculinity in the process.
My subjects are temporary utilitarian objects that connote construction, a ‘work in progress’ or the formative states. They are symbols of liminality, thresholds between a previous state of being and the next phase. I explore this liminal state; not only through the completion of a work but also during the phases of creation and process. My most recent body of work featured in "What keeps things together, when things fall apart" (Grenfell Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL. Curated by Matthew Hills, 2020) opens inquiries into the structures that seemingly ensure our collective care and safety, the negotiation of trauma, and the generative power of collective action born from necessity and resourcefulness.