Haven for Arts & Healing brings Melissa's photography to diverse audiences in healthcare, schools, and community venues. Her deepest hope is to encourage artistic engagement as a means to deep recovery while generating further interest in researching the interconnectedness of the arts, nature, spirituality, and healing.
Below are a selection of images from recent exhibitions, that are also available to buy as giclée fine-art prints, in a choice of popular print sizes. The printmaking process is a subtle art; each print is individually hand-printed at Melissa's home studio to the highest professional standards, using state-of-the-art Epson wide-format inkjet printers, with genuine Epson archival pigment inks, on archival papers.
Please reach out to Melissa directly for purchase details.
We Belong Beautifully to Nature
Beauty is the sensing of spirit in all things, animate and so-called inanimate, and can be found everywhere if only we learn the art of noticing. A shifting, shoaling shoreline of constant tidal motion may teach us the beauty of impermanence, while the personal world of a crocus flower may help us to reimagine the Spring within our depths.
We belong beautifully to nature; the body knows this belonging, even when the mind has forgotten. "Landscape is not all external," says John O'Donohue, "some has crept inside the soul. Human presence is infused with landscape."
Seeing Spirit In A Fading Landscape
*Excerpt from exhibition panels
Water is the womb in which we are born, and the grave to which we descend. We are high tide, shaped in water, born moist; a baby is seventy-five percent water. The 100 trillion cells in our bodies are full of water, slowly drying over our lifetime. Blood is a private ocean, a recapitulation of what life was like for all the years we spent drifting as microscopic, single-celled organisms.
The watery portion of blood, the plasma, almost mirrors the concentration of salt and other ions to seawater. Water is our lifeblood, but we know less about the ocean than outer space. We have forgotten we are water’s bidding, a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of rivers (Loren Eiseley). Bruce Lee reminds us, “Be Water, my friend. Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend”
The only substance on the planet to exist in three states: liquid, solid, and gaseous, water is everywhere, perpetually in motion. Water has memory, and like humans holds onto trauma, and can even die. And yet as it transitions between states it has the ability to heal itself, in much the same way blood dies and replenishes. Except when, like humans, pollutants, poisons, or disease are introduced.
Wintering is a practice that a landscape shorn of color asks of us. Called to search for a different kind of beauty, the smallest of life's details gently remind us of the infiniteness within, bringing stillness into the busyness of our daily lives. Within the intimacy of our surroundings, it is possible to feel a sense of our souls and awaken the very beginnings of healing, even in the face of overwhelming problems.
John O'Donohue said, "If we could look at the world in a loving way, then the world would rise up before us full of invitation, possibility, and depth. The loving eye sees through and beyond the image and affects the deepest change."
I hope for this when searching through the viewfinder, a way to glimpse the treasures our lives secretly hold.