“I’m trying to take a portrait of the landscape via the surface of water. Both a veil and a mirror, the surface of water reflects the land surrounding its shape and conceals the soil below. What drops from the air, what floats to the top- meeting in it’s tension? Grasses, plants, insects, ash, oil.
I am papermaking in flood plains, marshes, dew ponds, creeks and rivers. Using this process asa performance, I’m taking images of the landscape I was raised in. I’m letting the water draw. I’m letting the water write. The paper I’m pulling from these places is already a drawing, a poem, a map. It is the Fox Prairie and the Missouri River. It’s their fires and floods, their highways lined with crosses, casings of cicadas and inoculated with morchella spores; it’s Time.”
Melissa McGrath is an artist who explores the effects of trauma on psychological and physical landscapes. Through the ritual and labor of repetitive mark making, Melissa’s works-on-paper explore the transformation of pain to peace and destruction to regrowth, both within herself and the world around her. Exploring process as a medium and ritual as performance, she creates sculptural drawings by burning paper with smoldering incense, and with water and straw pulp. Melissa was born in Lexington, Missouri, a rural community situated between the Missouri River and it’s tributary, Sni A Bar Creek. She is a public school educator and Co-Curator and Co-Director at PLUG Projects. She received her BA in Studio Art at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is currently an MFA candidate at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.