Dean Melbourne unveils his second solo show in London this February at Gallery 8. Curated by Coates and Scarry, This Myth showcases Melbourne’s most recent paintings and works on paper.
Exploring the dark corners of his subconscious and fragments of mythology, Melbourne’s earthy oil paintings evoke a realm of otherworldly figures in the midst of a wild Bacchanal.
Creating hybrid creatures that play on myth and legend, Melbourne connects the bodily with the natural as foliage and figures transform into one. A nude female figure in Wudubeam is caught in the midst of blending into the bark of a tree, as a tangle of branches seem to grow from her torso to become a part of the forest.
Pulsating with life, The Weight draws us in with its nocturnal, dreamlike quality as vivid foliage and outlines of body parts crowd the canvas and create an almost hallucinatory effect. Speaking to our primal selves, Melbourne’s new works unrelentingly mine the animalistic side of human nature to bring our most hidden desires to the forefront.
Works including Black Phosphor depict seductively textural garlands of leaves that tumble down the middle of the canvas, inviting us into a dark forest thicket. Expressive and energetic, Dean Melbourne’s paintings draw on the Bacchae and Ovid’s Metamorphosis as touchstones in his unbridled exploration of the psyche.
Melbourne says “There is a notion of personal metamorphosis that runs through my process and in the sources of my work. Drawing from Ovid, Homer, Germanic fairy tales and medieval texts, I try to re enchant my world, to enjoy the dark and the unknown.”
This Myth is an exhibition that seeks to generate a new mythology, one that borrows and reshapes inherited traditions, drawing on the past to create a new lexicon of expression.