Melanie Thompson has worked as an interdisciplinary artist and lecturer for 40 years. Originally from London, Melanie has travelled extensively for her work, with residencies in Denmark, France, Norway, Spain, Italy, Canada, Israel, Poland and Germany. She studied Theatre and Dance at Dartington College of Arts then achieved an M.A. in Fine Art in Context at UWE Bristol. Her original art projects are unique to time and place and involve installation, performance and collaboration, working with an eclectic range of performers from all ages and backgrounds.
A Somerset resident, much of her work has been undertaken locally. Her public art projects include the re-development of Torquay Harbour in neighbouring Devon, the curation of Palace Intrusions in Wells and the artistic direction of Tor Dance Festival. She created a three-year project called Scaping the Land in Somerset, a collection of performances and films inspired by and in relationship to the unique landscape of the Levels. Melanie recently finished a year-long project in an orchard at the Alfred Gillett Trust in Street, with installations and performance events. Melanie is extremely excited for the Heart of the Tribe gallery to exist as a space where not only can artists collaborate but where people can come together and discuss culture today.
Melanie clearly articulates her method, which is extremely dependent on time and place. “When I make work I always ask, ‘What is happening now internally and externally, privately and publicly, what needs to be said and what with?’ Then I choose the materials and place that is most relevant to that question and spend as much time as possible in a process finding out how to clarify my response.” Like her mediums, Melanie’s influences are varied: Pina Bausch, a German choreographer (her understanding of bodies in space), Steve Reich, a minimalist composer (his understanding of time and rhythm), and the artist Joseph Beuys (his “ahead of his time” interest in nature and politics).