This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Melissa Boughey · Traverse

Art

We share a rather remote studio visit today, featuring artist Melissa Boughey who paints at her vineyard on Western Australia’s South Coast.

The Fine Art graduate and avid roadtripper is currently exhibiting her layered, expressive art at Art2Muse in Sydney.

17th August, 2017

Inside the studio of Western Australian artist Melissa Boughey. Photo – Bo Wong.

Melissa is currently showcasing her layered, expressive art in ‘Traverse’, her exhibition at Art2Muse in Sydney. Pictured: ‘Down by the Coast (After the Fire)’. Photo – Bo Wong.

Studio details. Photo – Bo Wong.

Melissa paints at her vineyard on near Denmark, on Western Australia’s South Coast. Photo – Bo Wong.

‘Isolation and distance are equally positive attributes and hurdles to get over,’ admits the artist. Photo – Bo Wong.

Artwork from the current exhibition, entitled ‘Journey to the Interior’. Photo – Bo Wong.

‘Down by the Coast After the Fire’. Photo – Bo Wong.

She uses her sketchbook as a springboard, later depicting their spontaneous marks in large, emotive works on canvas. Photo – Bo Wong.

‘I am very much interested in this idea of immersion in a landscape, a slow reveal, a walking through,’ the artist explains. Photo – Bo Wong.

The artist won’t leave home without her sketchbook! Photo – Bo Wong.

Studies on display. ‘Next, I plan to take a road trip, mostly likely in the Outback region of Western Australia… with time to just breathe it in,’ tells Melissa. Photo – Bo Wong.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 17th August 2017

‘I think there is no point in replicating a particular style because the work loses its innate energy’ – Melissa Boughey.

With a penchant for working ‘en plein air’ (outside), Melissa Boughey uses her sketchbook as a springboard to capture spontaneity in her large, emotive works on canvas. She’ll rarely leave the house without one faithfully tucked under her arm. ‘One of my sons has been working an early shift at a cafe in town (35km away) and I might begrudge the early morning start, but I’m soon grateful for the opportunity to see the first light, the sunrise, and have the forms and shapes of the landscape reveal themselves to me,’ she tells.

Introducing her current exhibition, ‘Traverse’, Melissa references the fluid nature of her practice:  one work informing the next, journeys taken, feelings of renewal and excitement in a new landscape, and the exploration of emotional space via landscape painting.

Time spent around Alice Springs last year, in particular,  has driven the artist’s most recent works. ‘I was stimulated by the diverse ecology, the open spaces, the geological time etched in strata…’ she explains, seeing this art as an attempt to bridge two distinct environments – the verdant, lush Western Australia South Coast, with the subtle, light and poetic forms of Central Australia.

The versatile artist turns her hand to a range of mediahandmade beeswax medium and oil paint on ply boards, transparent washes and built-up layers of oil on canvas, and expressive drawings on paper – the latest is a four-meter drawing on the go from her most recent camping experience! Over the years, as Melissa’s style has evolved, she has remained fervently committed to developing her own unique process. ‘I think there is no point in replicating a particular style because the work loses its innate energy; integrity in the line, in the brush, and in the energy, and the sensory experience is paramount.’

Melissa studied Fine Art at Perth’s Curtin University, though after graduating, focussed most of her energy on her family vineyard Moombaki, and raising her three boys. It was during her own childhood that Melissa’s interest in painting was first sparked. She would wag kindy (on occasion!) to join her mother at an art class. ‘I have a clear memory of the smell of turpentine and oil paint from my vantage point under the desk; I must have felt pretty safe and comfortable there,’ the 45-year-old artists reminisces. As the end of high school neared, Melissa recalls her art teacher prophetically advising that if she didn’t do art now, then she surely would return to it later.

‘Since the boys all went to school, I’ve kept up a dedicated and (I hope) consistent studio practice. Then, a few years ago, I upped-the-ante and entered a number of national shows, where I was selected as a finalist and hung with artists who I looked up to!’ she tells, noting that joining Instagram has been especially encouraging. ‘It really helped me to not feel so isolated, because turning up to your studio every day can be a bit of a lonely experience.’ We’d definitely expect so, especially for an artist based over 400km from Perth!

Melissa has come to terms with the fact that isolation and distance can be ‘equally positive attributes and hurdles to get over’. She’s part of a co-op gallery/shop space that runs exhibitions and workshops in her closest centre, the coastal town of Denmark. ‘I love that my life is very much entwined with the landscape, but the downside is the distance to send work to exhibitions (over East), and having access to galleries and seeing new work,’ she admits. So, Sydneysiders, don’t miss a chance to see her pieces before ‘Traverse’ returns West next week.

Traverse’ by Melissa Boughey
August 8th to 21st
Art2Muse
357 South Head Rd, Double Bay, Sydney.

Melissa Boughey will also be exhibiting in October at Turner Galleries Engine Room in Perth, before heading off into the Outback, with sketchbook and swag in tow!

View Comments

Similar Stories

TDF Collect

TDF Collect · 'Herbal Medicine' by Elizabeth Barnett

Announcing our next art exhibition, opening Saturday August 19th at our Collingwood gallery.

Studio Visit

Andrea Shaw

Introducing Andrea Shaw's first collection of paintings from her 'Doorways' exhibition, currently at Boom Gallery.
Lisa Marie Corso

TDF Collect

TDF Collect · Seraph by Spencer Shakespeare

Announcing our next TDF Collect exhibition, opening Saturday May 27th.

This Week

Studio Visit

Kerryn Levy's Wonderfully Wonky Ceramics

A studio visit with the Adelaide-based ceramicist known for her distinctly collectible statement candelabras.
Sasha Gattermayr

Creative People

Australia's Original Instagram Secondhand Furniture Seller

We chat with OG Instagram seller Pip Newell of Curated Spaces, about how she grew her business out of her living room to a network of more t...

Furniture

A Lush New Line Of Contemporary Furniture From Jardan

The ‘Living Form’ collection reinterprets Jardan’s classic designs, with traditional Australian textures - and some brand new silhouet...
Sasha Gattermayr
  4 hours ago

Design Eye

Studio Martin on Refined Rattan

Emerging design duo Lauren and Amanda Martin share their advice on using rattan furniture in contemporary interiors, in partnership with DOM...

Architecture

A Stunning Coastal Home, Created From A Revolutionary Building Material

This house by FMD Architects is built using CLT (cross laminated timber) – a revolutionary, sustainable building material.

Architecture

This Sydney House Takes The High Ground

A previously granted development approval allowed the sandstone ridge on this Seaforth site to be cut away, but Stafford Architecture had ot...

Architecture

The House That Lived

When bushfires ravaged the NSW South Coast this summer, this house by Collins Pennington Architects survived.

Shopping

Dreamy New Homewares From Maison Balzac To Level Up Your Dinner Table

Is it just us, or is coloured glassware having a moment? This Sydney-based brand takes the trend to new heights!
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Design Awards

10 Awe-Inspiring Creative Collaborations From Across Australia

From furniture made with a 17th-century craft technique to a culturally significant war memorial, these are the finalists in the Collaborati...
Sasha Aarons

TDF Design Awards

You’re Invited To The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

Join us on November 5th at 7pm for our online ceremony as we celebrate the finalists and reveal all the winners – and WIN a bespoke sculpt...

News

The ULTIMATE Friends And Family Cookbook From Illustrator Extraordinaire, Alice Oehr

The Melbourne-based creative took the opportunity of lockdown to finish her 6-year long project – a nation-wide recipe collection!

Homes

A Rustic, Inner-City Family Home Of 33 Years

Inside a Cornish/Spanish/Greek style home terrace renovation – in Port Melbourne!

On The Market

The Colourful Beach House Of Kip&Co’s Co-Founder Is For Sale!

The renovated 1970s beach house in Sorrento, Victoria, of Kip&Co's Kate Heppell has hit the market.
Amelia Barnes
  12 hours ago

News

These Closed-Loop Tote Bags Are The Real Deal!

The winner of 2019 TDF Design Awards Textile Design category, Georgina Whigham, debuts a new collection of zero waste denim bags with local
Sasha Aarons
  1 hour ago

Dream Job

Creating Captivating Content With The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney’s Digital Marketing And Media Coordinator, Victoria Ngu

The digital marketing and media co-ordinator of one of Australia's oldest public gardens fills us in on her dream job, from good email etiqu...
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

TDF Collect

TDF Collect · 'Herbal Medicine' by Elizabeth Barnett

Announcing our next art exhibition, opening Saturday August 19th at our Collingwood gallery.

Studio Visit

Andrea Shaw

Introducing Andrea Shaw's first collection of paintings from her 'Doorways' exhibition, currently at Boom Gallery.
Lisa Marie Corso

TDF Collect

TDF Collect · Seraph by Spencer Shakespeare

Announcing our next TDF Collect exhibition, opening Saturday May 27th.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.