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Melissa Vandenberg

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

Permanence and power are an illusion. With everyday materials my artwork addresses the fleeting nature of power and the universality of impermanence. Inspiration is garnered from Americana relics, eastern religious practices and nostalgia for the vintage. We impose deep meaning on possessions, which informs my preferred imagery: flags, maps, snakes, life-vests and gravestones. Questions surrounding patriotism and pride begin to emerge in work that is both satirical and idealistic. The results are overwhelmingly about mortality, but not exclusively dark. Subtexts touch on resurrection and reincarnation. I am a sculptor, with an inclination towards fabric. However, my practice embraces drawing, collage, installation and performance.

My upbringing in Detroit, combined with Southern notions of the handmade, aka woman-made, motivates work that questions the notion of a “homeland” and how Nationalism intertwines with individual identity.

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