Past Exhibition: Melissa Boughey, Eutierria: Moments in Nature

Melissa Boughey, Eutierria: Moments in Nature
Exhibition Dates15th August - 8th September 2019
Sponsored by:
Melissa’s current body of work speaks of a life lived on the land, an intimate connection with both the wild and tamed landscapes in her close daily interactions of living and working on a farm and revegetating native habitat. Ocean swimming, walking the dog, and drawing plein-air in the paperbark wetlands (a stones throw from her studio) are some of these deeply resonant & immersive experiences.
Whilst researching for this current exhibition, Melissa was looking for a term to describe a fleeting feeling of oneness that one might grasp when held enthral to nature: a quiet sense of contemplation, when time slows down, worries vanish and we are deeply present. Eutierria - from eu (good), tierra (the earth), ia (you), was coined by sustainability professor Glenn Albrecht, and describes this euphoric sense of being at one with nature, with a feeling of peace and connectedness. For Melissa, this happens when she works outside and responds to the sensory environment.
Melissa’s plein air drawings allow the viewer a glimpse into her working process and provide a visual clue to some of the shapes and forms that emerge in the resulting paintings. Her titles often allude to the narrative experience of being in these spaces, providing a glimpse into the thought process, and relevance of place. Paintings are created in her bush studio where she mostly works intuitively, often referencing sketchbook jottings as a way into the working process; “Sometimes I need to get back to the bare-bones of the landscape, and the sketchbooks allow me in and give me a starting point for the structure in the works. From there, anything can happen as I push paint around and challenge myself”
Visceral works in oil and hand-made beeswax medium are often allowed to develop of their own accord until a memory of landscape emerges. Experimentation, play, and pushing the work further is paramount to the process; through mark-making, colour challenges, and integrity to materials and surface.

Melissa completed a Bachelor of Arts (ART) Curtin University WA (1994), and then moved south where she and her partner have a family of three sons and run a small farm vineyard and cellar door. The last few years have seen Melissa more fully invest in her arts practice and she has been finalist in a number of national shows including Muswellbrook Art Prize (2019), The Paul Guest Prize for Drawing (2016), Kogarah Art Prize (2015), Albany Art Prize (2015), Lloyd Rees Landscape Prize (2015) & Fleurieu Art Prize (2011) amongst others.

image credit for artworks: Bo Wong
My process begins with an immersion in the landscape; jotting notes; scribbling responses; and creating a shorthand code for the natural environment.
Shop the Exhibition
Embankment (Reeds and Paperbark) by Melissa Bougheyoil and beeswax on board 62x62cm framed $1400
Night Swims (Into The Blue) by Melissa Bougheyoil & beeswax on board 82x82cm framed$2750
Underwater Wonders (with accentuated hues) by Melissa Bougheyoil and beeswax on board 82x82cm framedSold
Clay Embankment (Water Table) by Melissa Bougheyoil & beeswax on board 32x42cm framedSold
Brow of Hill (Light Red Foreground) by Melissa Bougheyoil & beeswax on board 22x22cm framedSold
Silty Sands (Tidal Riverbed) by Melissa Bougheyoil & beeswax on board 22x22cm framedSold
Chasing Shadows (In The Pinjar Wetlands) by Melissa Bougheymixed media on paper 32x40.5cm framedSold
Winter Light (Shape of Trees) by Melissa Bougheymixed media on paper 32x40.5cm framedSold