Imagine a pre-digital Australia, before the internet and GPS, smartphones and email. That’s the world of Melissa Egan’s “Looking For Direction”, an evocation of childhood holiday journeys with her family.
“As a child I remember long road trips from Sydney to Brisbane crammed into the back of a Morris Minor with my two brothers,’ Egan explains. “The luggage was piled high on the roof, and we played ‘I spy with my little eye’ for hours to pass the time. On occasions, we would take the wrong road, get lost and seek directions.”
Egan’s work has been exhibited extensively and she has been a finalist for major awards including the Archibald, Sulman, Blake and Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, and the Portia Geach Memorial Award.
Images of Australiana and mythical, often childlike creatures are all blended in the creative palette of this Sydney-born, Singapore and Canberra-educated artist. But on closer inspection her colourful creations often take on a deeper significance.
“The analogy of losing our way in life and finding the right or wrong road is a constant theme in my work,” she says. “The imagery in Looking for Direction evokes an age of innocence where things have been lost and found, both personal and material. Where there is hope for the future if we make the right choices.”
- MELISSA EGAN