Watch Interview with artist Melaine Christensen
Silkeborg Regional TV , week 19 , 20 and 21 2019
Members of the Danish Artist’ Association
Trained at Aarhus School of Graphics 1997 – 1999 and
The Aarhus Academy of Fine Arts 1996 – 97 and 2003 – 04
Qualified midwife since 1977
Kunstavisen 08/ 2019 (Art Magazine)
Written about Melaine Christensen’s Paintings
The sense of interconnectedness is essential for human well-being. A sentiment that appears when we as people feel that we are part of something bigger; and this is the exact sentiment, this is the mutual connection Melaine Christensen attempts to paint in her nature inspired paintings. To her nature is, with all its beauty; primordial force; and intensity, an essential part of life and a great source of inspiration but also a reminder that we must safeguard nature.
Melaine Christensen, whose base is in Dollerup Bakker and occasionally Læsø, has had numerous visits to the Scandinavian Countries, especially Lofoten in Norway, and nature continuously charms and inspires her. The impressions from the picturesque landscape in the area of Crete in Sothern Tuscany have also been transformed into evocative paintings in which you become one with the Southern hilly landscape of cypresses and olive trees – a sense of interconnectedness where the scents and the warmth are almost physical sensations . . .
Journalist at Kunstavisen
Grethe Hagensen, writer at Kunstavisen (Danish art paper) writes about Melaine Christensen in the book : 101 Artist 2013 by Tom Jørgensen
Daring to live in the present moment, to play, to sense, to laugh, and to devote oneself are abilities that create the backdrop for Melaine Christensen’s perception of life. And this is reflected in her paintings, which are somewhere between the abstract and something recognizable. Nature with its various colours and configurations is the paramount inspiration, and by sensing the power of nature and by studying its configurations, Melaine is able to give us a very precise experience of the place she paints. One does not need to know the actual landscape or place of the motif. It is the mood, the sensations, the range of colours, and the composition that are essential.
First, it was her job as a midwife that brought Melaine out in the world, and the desire to go abroad and to meet other people has not subsided. Through journeys, senses are sharpened and, at the same time, great inspiration and understanding for other cultures appear. Even though Melaine was forced to paint her paintings concealed from the authorities in Afghanistan, where paints and material were smuggled in, her paintings are not bleak. No, Melaine wants to show us the beauty of the country and the great contrasts in light and shadow. With her soulful vibrating sense of colour, she paints houses and minarets with powdery mauve and pink colours, or she shows us the desert sand where we, in the background, can barely make out the outlines of houses, or are they mirages?
Trees are existential to Melaine and she almost perceives them as living beings. Especially cypresses that reach for the sky as slender pillars, and ancient olive trees like the ones we see in Southern Europe that have connected generations for centuries fascinates her. However, after a stay in India, palm trees have joined the others in warm and violet colours. For years, she has worked with these trunks that are usually leafless. With roots deep into the ground, they reach for the sky like ladders, and connects the earth with the sky above. ‘Trees Do Grow to the Sky’ is the title of a series of paintings from which Melaine wishes us to realize that we must believe in ourselves and engage in things we are passionate about. The trees are humanized, and if we pay attention we may discover small round soft shapes, maybe like olives, maybe like the female gender.
Even though Melaine has traveled much, her home in the midst of scenic Dollerup Bakker is important to her as well. Here she has her studio; however, in the summertime her inspiration is the distinctive and beautiful nature of Læsø. Especially the lines that appear when the sun shines on the shallow water or the lines that appear when the tide slowly falls again. This gives Melaine many associations and brings about bonds and cohesion for her. ‘Like Lines in Water’; exactly this is what she calls a number of paintings where she has been inspired by nature’s signs and shapes, patterns and ornaments, and these lines are applied to the human body as well. ‘My underlying basis is to find my way into the mode of expression, and to find the colours in aesthetics and beauty that human beings, at all times, have had creational needs and aspirations for’ Melaine says.
You rarely find persons in Melaine’s beautiful paintings. Nature is such a powerful source of inspiration that it is more than enough. However, a number of fine life-drawings, often sketched in a couple of minutes, show that human beings are of interest too.
Writer at Kunstavisen
Melaine Christensen write about herself:
I lived in Mozambique for 6 years, and I have had long stays under distant skies, for instance in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, the Mediterranean countries, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
Originally, it was my profession as a midwife which brought me to other worlds. Always bringing paints and paper so I could capture moods and shapes in words and pictures.
My first exhibitions as an artist were abroad. Paintings I had secretly been working on in Afghanistan where paper and paints were smuggled in. Later, the paintings were exhibited in Pakistan.
The artist in me has now captured the agenda. I am compelled to trace the forms and colours, the light and magic, the soul and spirit of the world that surrounds me.
My perceptions travel through my hands and come out in pictures – and words.
A playful mixture of abstract and recognizable shapes.