Mélissa Mourez

I Fell in Love with an Illusion

Artist’s Statement:

For the purpose of this series, I want to look at scale in terms of relationships. Each one we encounter is different. Each one is unique. The length of the relationship does not determine the impact it will have and each one teaches us something new. We have the power to choose how we want to grow and what we want to learn from them. This series relates to an individual that altered my perspective and outlook on romantic relationships.

As much as we would like to be, humans are not transparent. Even those who claim to be, have their secrets. Thoughts that are too difficult to share with the world, so we keep them hidden. We navigate spaces around feelings to make room for other memories to build and shine through. But sometimes the past has a way of seeping through the cracks. And no matter how much we think we have healed, the broken pieces do not always fully mend. I only saw fragments. A personality influenced by the things he thought I wanted and needed. Influenced by surroundings.

It took a long time to process, let alone express, the complex and overwhelming feelings I was coping with at the end of this relationship. Painting is a source of therapy in which I can channel and analyze my thoughts. There is something comforting about getting lost in a blank canvas while listening to a song that relates to how I am feeling. It allows me to completely sink within myself so that I can explore that feeling through visual means and express it in ways words cannot. Each painting turns into, what I like to call, an imaginary landscape, which is essentially a mapping of my mindset at the time of creation. Every painting focuses on a different emotion with the hope of resolving it. Each feeling intertwines with the other but can be felt separately.

When placed side by side, the imaginary landscapes from my series I fell in love with an illusion (2019-present) converge into one another. The intent is for the viewer to journey through the accumulation of calm and, occasionally, chaotic brushstrokes so as to examine and appreciate the nuances of each layer. The work is meant to be experienced closely so as to move from one canvas to the next and then by stepping away from the work to experience the body as a whole. I tend to analyze everything so closely that I forget to look at the broader picture. Stepping back helps to clear my mind and bring things into perspective.

About the artist:

Mélissa Mourez is an Ottawa-based artist living in the Gatineau region. She studied at the University of Ottawa for a Fine Arts Degree with a Specialization in Photography and a Minor in Greek and Roman Studies. She has received awards and scholarships, including the Paradigm(e) Award and Louise Perry Scholarship, and has participated in an artist residency abroad. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and her paintings and photographs can be found in private collections in Canada and the United States.