Hugo Barclay Award 2024

Melanie Berman

Sugar Plum Words

Jackson's Art Prize 2024
Acrylic, Ink
70 x 60 cm


“My fascination intertwines with the profound insights of Margaret Cavendish, a 17th-century poet and philosopher often dismissed by some as bird-witted. Yet, I perceive her as a visionary ahead of her era. Her contemplations on the purity of love and the boundless realm of imagination resonate as a critique of our modern, technologically driven society, where narratives fade swiftly. Delving deeper, I embarked on a journey to employ colour as a means of transcending conventional perceptions, drawing inspiration from Cavendish’s poignant verses.
I sought to encapsulate the delicate balance between the quest for truth and the fragile innocence of existence, akin to deciphering a divine language. My canvases evolved into parchment-like surfaces, imbued with layers of translucent pigments, each brushstroke a testament to the ephemeral nature of creation. The interplay of bold, opaque hues served as an ode to the raw essence of expression, each mark a whispered echo in the vast expanse of abstraction.
Embracing the epithet of “bird-witted,” this painting inspire by ‘Poems and fancies’ I embrace the endless expanse of imagination with colour and forms acting with boundless energy of a poet.”