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McCollin-Walker_Melanie_ The Stillness Within_104cm x152cm_unframed_charcoal on cotton pap

Artist Statement

As If Time Stood Still

08.11.22 - 26.11.22

Flinders Lane Gallery

I recently travelled to Tasmania's far North-West coast to further discover the natural wonders of the Savage and Pieman Rivers. ‘As If Time Stood Still' is an in- depth account of that journey. This trip became a catalyst for introspection and self-discovery, as well as a source of inspiration for this show. ​ The best way to explore the river system is by Kayak, a solitary journey surrounded by the temperate rainforest of the Tarkine region. I found myself immediately humbled by the quiet resonance of this ancient outdoor cathedral, captivated by the enduring resilience and delicate balance between the trees and the river. ​ It seems appropriate that I gained a better grasp of the power that time has over all of us in a place that is essentially untouched by its passage. Time is the foundation at the core of our humanity and a driving force in our daily lives. Days spent on the river have a hypnotic quality; time appears to stand still. There is no destination, no place to be...these are the moments I treasure, because in the stillness of time, I feel more centred and connected to everything around me...and it is then that I can truly start to see. ​ There is definitely something to be said about revisiting a much-beloved place. Awe becomes reverie, and in the deeper connection that follows, a greater understanding develops. As the saying goes, ‘travel far enough, you meet yourself’, that is certainly true of my time spent in this magical part of the world.

McCollin-Walker_Melanie_In My Wake_104 x 152_2021_edited.jpg

Artist Statement

Take Me To The River

05.11.21 - 22.11.21

Handmark Gallery

Take Me to the River is an in-depth exploration of a recent journey I took to the Savage and Pieman Rivers on the far North-West coast of Tasmania. This trip served not only as the source of inspiration for this show but became an impetus for self-reflection. I was intrigued by the inherent vulnerability I felt surrounded by the vast landscape, with its rugged terrain – raw and untouched – uncharted territory for a girl from Barbados - an island nearly 16,000 kilometres away. I was fascinated by the dappled light along the treetops, the unique texture of the leaves, and above all, the salient nature of the river. As I stood on the bridge overlooking the Savage, it was as if time stood still, allowing me to reflect on the nature of solitude and its ability to leave you lost and found in equal measure. Life’s encumbrances can accumulate, and sometimes we don’t realise how heavy they are until we put them down. My experience at the river was cathartic, allowing me to surrender some of life’s burdens. I was content unreservedly following where the river led. It was a freeing experience and one I tried to emulate in this collection. During my exploration I was awed by the quiet dignity of the trees as they overlooked the water, seeming almost like guardians, they provided a natural path for the river to flow. I was intrigued by the duality of this relationship, quite often seeing the sacrifice of fallen trees scattered along the way. Upon returning to the studio, I was compelled to capture this juxtaposition between the stability of the trees, the cursive flow of the river, and the interplay between the two. It’s hard to completely quantify the instant connection I had with this unique landscape. But in some ways, I felt as though the river’s journey mirrored my own. I was inspired by its strength and resilience, unwavering in the face of obstacles, forever flowing forward.


Artist Statement

The Light Within

11.08.20 - 19.09.20

Flinders Lane Gallery

When I moved to Tasmania a few years ago, I was immediately drawn to its natural beauty and the expansive tributary of rivers that connect everything. The work for this show represents snapshots, moments in time, taken from various road trips including the Forth River near Cradle Mountain and the Derwent River, which runs through New Norfolk on the way to Mount Field National Park. I was so intrigued by the Forth; it was unlike any place I had ever seen. The sheer density of the flora clustered protectively along the river's edge seemed to give it an ancient reverence, echoed by the ethereal beauty the reflections cast across the surface of the water. I remember the sense of tranquility and stillness that overcame me as I found myself transported by the scene which lay before me. It is this sense of escapism that I hope this body of work evokes, windows to another place, and time.

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