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Ashburton Art Gallery

327 West St

Ashburton | 7700

P | 03 308 1133

E |

Gallery Hours

Open Daily: 10am - 4pm

Wednesday: 10am - 7pm

Closed Good Friday, Anzac Morning and Christmas day



Artist Chat – Melissa Macleod

April 22, 2020

When the country went into lockdown, one of the exhibitions on display at the Gallery was Melissa Macleod’s The Trappings of Ghosts, and immersive show in which Melissa brings the sea air of Wakanui Beach inside the Gallery. Melissa, the winner of the Zonta Ashburton Female Art Awards 2019, is currently isolating at home with her family in Christchurch and we caught up with her to see how they were doing.

Can you describe what life is like in your bubble? 

…..a suspended feeling. Slightly reminiscent of pre child birth. Pending, inevitable. And also a combination of family, animals, home school, distance teaching, my daughter’s baking, son’s football hitting the fence, studio stints, beach walking, oven cleaning. My partner is having to continue working through all this – as he would usually – an essential worker. Life is altered and equally not altered.

Has your art making changed during the lockdown?

….how to make big work in a small shed- is essentially where I am at currently. I had a small window of time to gather up crucial materials from my main studio (a room off site in an old school), and relocate to our shed in the back garden. I have a large work currently needing completion so it was important to carry on with this if I could. And it has been good to have something ticking away out there. The logistics of operating in a small space with a low ceiling have been interesting- I keep repeatedly flinging my hands up and banging my knuckles. Surprising how you don’t learn. In a nut shell I am  trying to make a fragile work amongst  damp, drafts and whitetails… and quite enjoying the challenge.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve read/ watched/encountered this past week?

…..neighbours we have never had too much to do with gave us huge bunches of their grapes. 

Melissa in her temporary studio in the back garden