Artist of the Month

February's Artist of the Month Melanie Stidolph

Image: Melanie Stidolph, 35.5591° S, 174.5143° E, digital print, 2017

Our Artist of the Month feature aims to promote artists' work and raise issues in a quick, informal way. February's Artist of the Month is Melanie Stidolph.


Hello, who are you and what do you do?

Melanie Stidolph, I work with photography and recently with moving image, which has opened a world of action and reaction. Repeatedly throwing objects as in The Fall photographs and shouting at the camera in the short films, The Conversation, I II and III were cathartic acts. The Conversation films are an exchange between me and the camera, being ‘angry’ with the camera triggers the shutter and flash. Estate, is a short film showing bursts of light in a dark room which reveal a vase of flowers as men’s voices outside trigger the flash. I am interested in cause and effect, and highlighting the role of emotions in mechanical processes.


Where are you based?

I have lived in Cornwall since 2015. I studied in Canada and lived there for 3 years before returning to London in 1996. I moved here from London, temporarily to start with, but am now settled.


Where do you work?

I’m sitting in a small-ish room at home, the window has the blinds down so I can see the screen better and I’m surrounded by large photographs, books, boxes, filing cabinets, etc. It's good for editing, a nest of a space.


What’s the best thing about the area you live/work in?

I live in St Ives, this part of West Cornwall is an extraordinary place, offering remoteness and being surrounded by international art and artists at the same time. Because of how things have come together here I have more time now for making. Having the time to slowly produce, to be able to push further than my immediate resources is brilliant.


What does 'success' mean to you?

Right now, being able to make art.


Do you earn a living from making art?

No. I work part-time as Learning Curator for Public Programmes at Tate St Ives, programming film, evening events and talks. I also work on projects like Groundwork, the programme of international art that took place last summer.


What have you been up to recently?

I was awarded mentoring and skills development support from Cultivator last summer and have been working on a new film project. I’ve had screenings in Cornwall and London recently and a show of new photographs in St Ives last summer taken in New Zealand and Australia. I found myself, surprisingly, taking photographs of families and children when I was away. Recent work is partly motivated by issues around infertility so groups with young children are a subject I’ve not been drawn to, but because these groups were arranged by the ocean there was a connection, a shared pleasure there that drew me in. 


What have you got coming up?

I’m developing a new film work, involving singing, flash lighting, studios and rock pools. I’m location scouting, doing test shoots and building a storyboard. It’ll have a performance element, I can’t wait for that bit.



Solo shows include The Fall, Campbell Works, London, Interior Life, The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, and Shallows, Kamloops Art Gallery, Canada. Group shows include Eventually Everything Connects, Solent Showcase, Southampton, Album2, Five Years, London, Curious Nature, Newlyn Art Gallery, and Lilith, MOT International. Curated the group show Except The Mirror for FORMAT photography festival, Derby.


What's On

Groundwork: Steve Rowell, Points of Presence

Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, Eastern House, Old Cable Lane, Porthcurno TR19 6JX

Thursday 21 June 2018 – Monday 01 April 2019

Fabric Africa: Stories told through textiles

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol, BS8 1RL

Saturday 30 June 2018 – Sunday 19 May 2019

Phizogs - Bedwyr Williams at RAMM

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX

Tuesday 17 July 2018 – Monday 01 April 2019

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

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