“I imagine a watery space that is airy, and blue; a space that glimmers within the shadow of ultraviolence, and luminescence of queer waters. Through my painting, I create an expansive ocean, a subconscious space, in which our queer desires of love become manifest in physical reality.”
– Nicole Melnicky
Queer Contemporary Abstract Painter
Nicole Melnicky is a queer contemporary abstract painter based out of Vancouver, BC. She is a current MFA student at OCAD University with a focus in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design, and she received her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a major in Fine Art with minors in Textile Design and Art History. She was hosted as an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, Toronto Biennial of Art, Otis College of Art and Design, The Ou Gallery and is currently an resident artist here at Studio H Canada. Through her paintings and research, Nicole explores the mixed-methodologies of queer utopia, queer abstraction, dreamtime, queer time and place and queer futurity.
Through her painting, Nicole generates a Queer Utopia – a surrealistic space in which the possibilities of the future become tangible through the process of imagination.
She paints the “emotional climate” of the surrounding world from a queer perspective. By evoking the environment through her own visual language; she describes her own sensory experience of “location” in her painting.
By utilizing David J. Getsy’s methodology of Queer Abstraction, and by situating her work and painting practice in conversation with abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler. Nicole pools, floods, and stains her paper and canvases with raw pigments and saturated dyes. Through watery blues, smoky grays, and salted lilacs, Nicole evokes a queer emotional renaissance within her paintings.
Nicole’s queer abstract paintings speak about queer time and place, utopia, and queer suburban imaginaries, suggesting the notion of being in state of perpetual dreaming.
The painting’s featured here are created from her own visceral interpretation of the Vermont frozen landscape. Comprised from the culmination of fragmented experiences and queer memories. Nicole views the world through a queer lens and paints that experience.
During her artist residency, here at Studio H Canada, Nicole has been deeply touched and inspired by the surrounding healing landscape of Metchosin, British Columbia. Nicole acknowledges that she works and plays on the Indigenous lands of the Coast Salish, S’Klallam, W̱SÁNEĆ, Te’mexw Treaty Association, and Lekwungen/Songhee people.
She is currently working on a painting series Utopia Terrains in the studio; composed from the union of healing energies, the queer subconscious, and dreaming. This series is her own projected vision for a world, for a queer utopia, for a future that is free.
“Dreaming pushes us towards a liberated future world. Driving us forward with optimism. Surrendering to the “what is” and “what if’s” by imagining a world that is fluid and free. Moving us onwards to a place of unbinding utopia.”
– Nicole Melnicky
More of her work can be viewed on www.nicolemelnicky.com.
Follow her on Instagram @nicolemelnicky to
see her journey in the studio!