Melissa Becker’s paintings part of an international touring exhibition

Some of College Tutor Melissa Becker’s South Africa paintings will be part of a touring exhibition through South Africa, USA, Canada and Australia. Melissa left South Africa for the USA in 1976. A 4th year teacher at university influenced her to use her feelings of homesickness, anger and alienation to begin exploring her background for painting. She began this reluctantly and abstractly in the early 80s but as the pace of change increased in South Africa her works became larger and more direct. It seemed imperative to make the work, even though no gallery was willing to engage with them, perhaps because of their non-commercial and highly political nature. Works from the Spring Protection series were shown in New York and Sydney’s Bondi Pavilion but the rest of these works have never been exhibited. In New York the gallery owners told her to take the work ‘home’ and in South Africa she was regarded as an outsider by the gallery system, but certainly not the general population. After 23 years in the attic the paintings are out on a grand tour and Melissa is pleased to be able to finally give her contribution to the country she left behind but still feels ties to. The dates for the Australian exhibition will be announced soon.

Funeral, South Africa 1985 by Melissa Becker

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