This piece was originally displayed at the Bluecoat Display Centre as part of ‘Storyville: Rachel Howard & Melanie Tomlinson’, between 12 March – 7 May 2011. This sculpture features Melanie’s hand printed illustrations on the metal sheets of the cat’s body, which has a spiralled tail and wire whiskers. Her designs often incorporate illusory symbols that relate to the piece’s theme.
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“I have a deep passion for nature and its protection, which inspires all my work. I believe that narrative, particularly folklore and mythology can help us better understand all living things and how we need each other to survive.
My sculptures are inspired by narrative from all over the world and also my own experiences of being with nature. Sometimes I write my own short stories to give a contemporary twist to a theme. I like to step into this other world, to explore the world of the unfamiliar.
The work I create sometimes has roots within other cultures and may appear deliberately mysterious or strange. Romania is very close to my heart and often I include traces of its culture within my work. At the same time, I find sources of inspiration wherever I am.
I illustrate my work using very fine brushes and gouache and hand print these images onto metal sheets. My designs often incorporate illusory symbols that relate to the piece’s theme. For instance, a lacy skirt might on closer inspection be composed of spiders, wolves, snowflakes or birds. My intention is to continue highlighting the traditions of folklore as a way of commenting on what I experience in the here and now.” – Melanie Tomlinson