|I had every intention to write about what an amazing afternoon I had at Heide, starting at Café Vue, viewing Melinda Harpers exhibition and finishing with a visit to the cow sculptures but alas, life and a two year old had other plans for me.
I had the most perfect afternoon in mind. Melbourne had turned on the weather, it was a blue sky winter day, perfect to go and visit Heide and have a sneaky treat at Café Vue. My mum was visiting and I knew she would enjoy the outing and to top everything off, Jack, my two year old had fallen asleep in his pram! I’d get to finish my coffee while it was still warm!
We managed a table straight up and wouldn’t you know it, just as our order arrived, jack awoke. His mood was reflective of as if I was prodding him with hot irons, and the whole of Café Vue knew about it.
We quickly downed our coffee and thought a change of scenery might help, it usually does and he calms to a generally well-behaved boy. Not today. A quick trip to the shop, which included a little treat for Jack, resulted in him sitting outside on the steps, sobbing into his paper bag that contained his wind up caterpillar, all because his bag wasn’t folded closed at the top. Yes he was in that kind of mood.
I knew I had a very minimal window of time to whip around the Melinda Harper whist mum kindly took Jack. Taking my valuable minutes and absorbing all that the exhibition had to offer was overwhelming (in a good way), to say the least.
The colours Melinda carefully selects seem to speak to the viewer in an emotive way and the longer you observe the works the more shapes and precise relationships of colour you notice.
Without giving too much away, as I urge you to see it for yourself if you can, I want to note a couple of works that resonated with me. Keep in mind the anxious mood I was in at the time. I am sure on any other day I may have selected different works with alternate colour combinations to connect with.
‘Untitled’, paper collage on screen print, consisted of various blue squares and rectangles all overlapping one another and carefully juxtaposed with silver squares and warm pink grid patterns. The placement of the shapes was quite delicate which contrasted the sheer size of the work. It was enormous. It was 9 large panels and filled an entire wall!
Other works that caught my eye were the ‘Untitled’ oil paintings that used the technique of underpainting in red then carefully overlaying a colourful grid of intricate geometric shapes over the top, leaving slithers of the dramatic red to show through.
I noticed one work, quintessential of Melinda Harpers style but slightly different in colour combination, instead of bright brights, it consisted of mustard, greens, blues, navy, deep red and a hint of pink. Really quite dull in comparison, yet equally as beautiful. I wonder what might have made her select such a colour palette for that particular piece. Ha maybe she has a two year old too!
Even thought I quickly zipped around the works and regretfully didn’t’ give them the time they deserved, I have to thank Melinda Harper and I am sure if my mum and son could meet her they would too, as I walked away feeling uplifted and my mood had completely altered, so by the time I found them down near the cow sculptures I was a burst of happiness and energy which I can only attribute to the beautiful works and colours of Melinda Harper.