Melissa is a proud Yorta Yorta Woman. She was Born in Shepparton and grew up in Mooroopna. Her mother is of Scottish and Greek origins while her father is Aboriginal.
As a child Melissa loved art at school and always had a sketch book and pencils where ever she went and loved drawing horses.
Melissa says that she felt different to her peers, she was good at arts and riding, but she was never seen outside playing, playing sports or socializing with people.
In 2010 Melissa celebrated the birth of her son; Colt and in 2015 a Daughter; Montannah who together are her best masterpieces so far!
In 2018 she decided she wanted to learn more about her culture and she enrolled at GOTAFE Certificate II in Aboriginal Cultural Arts. This experience opened her eyes to her culture, which she knew little about before, helping her to discover it more and more. Thanks to this experience she is a valued member Artist at Kaiela Arts.
Melissa enjoys painting and weaving and loves to share these skills with her children.
Melissa produces different types of works and with different techniques, acrylic on canvas (linen), acrylic on wood, woven works, and paints emu eggs.
In addition to Melissa’s art making she has recently started working as an Artist in Schools with the Education program for Kaiela Arts which is facilitated by Rhonda Chrisanthou.
Melissa has worked with Rhonda through Kaiela Arts Galnyatj Program in three primary schools over the last month. When asked about her experience, Melissa’s eyes light up, she said ‘I enjoy seeing their eager faces, being so willing and excited to learn because I never got to do that as a child. I enjoy their creativity also particularly their stories. This encourages me to keep focussing on my culture and passing it on to young people.’
Melissa will be exhibiting some of her new works in Kaiela Arts Christmas exhibition ‘Along the River’ . You may like to come along and have a chat with her?