Introducing: Melissa Kime

Introducing: Melissa Kime

Born in 1989, British artist Melissa Kime studied at University College Falmouth 2008-11 (BA (Hons) Fine Art); Royal Drawing School 2011-2012 (Post Graduate Diploma in Drawing); and the Royal College of Art 2013-15 (MA Painting). She was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2014 and has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Her work is already held in numerous prominent private collections globally.
The women in my paintings perform rituals that are centred upon healing, jinx removal or quite simply the prevention of bad things happening...examining what really makes them female or what makes them belong and have a place in the world.
The magic of the everyday weaves itself into Kime’s paintings and drawings with threads of information evoked by mysterious haunted landscapes, allegorical animals, hag stones or talismanic rocks found on the foreshore of the River Thames. Populated by characters informed by folklore, religion and mythology, Kime reawakens a spellbinding realm that ordinarily lies all too dormant. In the artist’s own words: “My recent paintings merge Catholic folklore and magick. The history of this religion and the traditional folk magic of the medieval period to our current modern day have many cross overs and this particularly interests me. The women in my paintings perform rituals that are centered upon healing, jinx removal or quite simply the prevention of bad things happening. Some of the women are trying to connect together and survive, through the linking and binding of plaited hair and autobiographical experiences, examining what really makes them female or what makes them belong and have a place in the world”. Kime’s interests are deep rooted, and her work has many autobiographical touch points. The women in her paintings are often self-projections and might reference literary characters with whom Kime has a personal affinity such as Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. And her experience at a Roman Catholic secondary school is significant: “It was at school and church where my interests in ritual and sacred rites began to grow. The repetition of saying the Hail Mary on a beautiful rosary and the different festival days, as well as the symbolism in relics and iconography was something quite special for me. The idea of having a belief system and that that belief could magically change the fate of something was exciting and important to me.” Kime’s work, therefore, is deeply personal, whilst engaging with universal themes that span time, place and both alternative and traditional belief systems.