Recovery, 2016


Unique Artwork

Mixed material

lace weaving and tapestry needle weaving


CM H 124.5 W 68.6 Thickness 1

IN H 49.02 W 27.01 Thickness 0.39

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Recovery, 2016

During a residency at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City in 2017, Melake “wanted to find a way for others to look inside themselves”. She showed materials of undisclosed purpose to visitors who were then invited to share thoughts about what the materials evoked. A series of weavings were created in response. While surprised at the confessional nature many of the conversations revealed, Melake found the project confirmed her fascination with the communicative power of materials. “The things I make are related to objects that are recognisable and for daily use,” she offers. Related to, but far from identical.

Melake’s weavings often move against the ninety degree angle interlacing of warp and weft the loom was created to control. Earlier works such as Recovery (2016) use the techniques of lace and tapestry needle weaving to “dissolve the grid that is fundamental to the practice of weaving”. She combines materials such as cold-applied copper and cement with the porous structure of the textile, describing the work as a landscape of varying emotions which appear in “the consistent process of healing and mending oneself, as well as the relentless threat of despair and depression that threatens to engulf and to harden”.

Luam Melake

Luam Melake (American, born 1986) graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Interdisciplinary Field Studies, majoring in Architecture and Art History in 2008. She has collaborated with public and private institutions on commissioned projects and has been artist in residence at leading institutions including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha and the Blachère Foundation in Apt, France. Melake lives and works in New York City.

"My art practice is focused on handwoven sculptures and functional furniture objects that operate as vehicles for contemplation and empathetic connection. I refer to the histories and methodologies of art, design, craft, architecture and industrial manufacturing. Materials are borrowed from each of these fields and combined into works that collapse these disciplines. Abandoning a hierarchical framework enables a more accurate consideration of how these fields inform each other and what they can communicate.

I am proposing new ways of seeing objects that are universally familiar—as textiles, furniture and commodities—by calling attention to how they can operate as a means of shaping experiences and communicating ideas and emotions. These proposals encourage users/viewers to more fully consider their relationship to space and the potential for objects to facilitate meaningful, socializing experiences." Luam Melake.

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Versant Sud

Versant Sud is an artist's residency whose main mission is to develop artistic and cultural projects in two territories: the Southern region of France and African countries.

The two geographical areas have one thing in common: they are territories marked by the virtual absence of an art market. Artists developing their activity in these two areas face buyers who are still under-represented or buying outside the territory.

To promote these two territories, Versant Sud is deployed on several axes:

The organization of an annual cross-artistic residency program between Marseille (France) and an African capital; coordination of artistic and cultural projects for other structures and/or institutions; design-oriented training workshops for art schools, the proposal for conferences focusing on the African perspective, selling works of art created by the artist in residence. 

The launch season 2018 / 2019 of the artistic residencies is dedicated to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. In October 2019, Versant Sud attended the leading fair dedicated to contemporary African Art - 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair - in London and presented works from Leikun Nahusenay. 


Versant SUD
1 Place de la Gare de la Blancarde
Marseille, 13004
France

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Curated by Versant Sud

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