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This is an evolving online exhibition, more works will be added as they are completed – check back from time to time.
(56) Melanie Olde - Perfect Imperfect
About this Artwork
I was fascinated by the layers of symmetry both within the insect eggs and the photographer’s composition – it shows nature’s algorithms and a human hand’s need for similar order. The closer you look, though, the more you realise that these eggs are not quite perfect, not quite the identical to the others of their species. These differences are little perfections of their own; their differences make them perfect.
I looked at the encyclopedia page for several days and researched other insect eggs. I was struck by the iridescent quality that many of them had. I wanted to give these egg-jewels back some colour and life, in a brighter-than-life scheme.
The two elements of the composition reflect the perfect/imperfectness of nature. The representation on the left gives a new ‘altered life’ to the image. The right element represents the magnified glitches in nature: the glorious imperfections.
The image is created by coating washi paper with metallic foil, then transfer printing a digital image. I then sliced the paper into thin strips, reconstructing them as a weft in a compound weave structure. The green silk threads are hand-dyed and are an acknowledgement of the beauty which insects give us, with the mottled colour representing nourishing vegetation for the re-imagined eggs.
While dealing with the stresses and changes 2020 brought, this project provided a much-needed refocus on the other-worldly microscopic universe, around us but often overlooked.
My professional artistic and weaving experience of almost twenty years has consisted of artistic practice, business, research and teaching.
My work is continually driven by curiosity and new learning. I independently research cellular structures for form, function and array and enjoy interpreting these in artworks, including biomimetic woven cloth. Leaves and grasses offer many biomimetic opportunities to create woven fabrics with unusual properties. Most recently I have been exploring the polygonal patterns of the cells of these surfaces in flat-woven cloth and mimicking 3-dimensional packing in multilayered textiles. In addition to the physical structures of the fabric, I investigate embedded electronics to expand the functionality of these fabrics. As I continue to experiment, I enjoy increasing my knowledge of natural and engineered structures.
I work on both manual and computerised looms shaft in my Canberra, and find benefits to both systems. I have studied and exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Melanie was provided the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:
On things that interest you and me.
Through the Microscope