Monday, January 30, 2012


We always talk. Even when we don't speak. It's a funny thing.

Melanie Kay makes art. Not just any of course, but one made from a "moral narrative". She tells stories by stitching visuals on recycled beer cans. Why does she do this? "The desire for my work to be meaningful influences the things that interest and astound me which in turn influences the way in which I work."

The idea is that she makes her art, it will be visually interesting and then the story will start to be told as people will want to know what it is about. "Using beer cans as a surface for my work has meant that I have had to be innovative in the way in which I transfer imagery onto the cans. I begin my illustrations mostly in pencil and then use various textile techniques to transfer the imagery onto the cans including, printing, heat pressed textile vinyl, hand and machine embroidery." Yes her art works are very much "social objects" which I have written about before, based on artist Hugh MacLeod's lovely stories.

Photos: Melanie Kay

The process of making art is always interesting. At artschool emphasis is put on developing one's "theory" (this seems to be the same on different continents I have discovered). Reality teaches us that most artists simply discover techniques or how to make their art by simply "doing" (aka mucking around, twiddling or fidgeting) not by concocting a pretty laid out "how-to" before hand. How Melanie came up with her "beer can" story board, read more about that here.

That's the first start right there!
The second... transformation in progress...

end result! Certainly not any beer can surface is it?. "You are not in Kansas anymore" as they say. Nope, Melanie Kay went off to many places, including Dublin. Well done!

And it turns out I have come a fellow animal nut. Marvellous! Blog post here.
I hope to see more news come out about Melanie's career which looks promising indeed.

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