Light. So often it’s all about us and we forget to look, we are either too busy or too disinterested to see. Sometimes I feel like, I suppose a hunter might, searching for an elusive prey. Searching for a quality of light, a juxtaposition of shapes or of visual commentaries that bring me to a halt, and the viewfinder to my eye!
Photography has been a passion of mine for well over 35 years, when at the age of fifteen I purchased my very first Ricoh compact film camera complete with an internal light meter. Not long after I purchased two fully manual Pentax Spotmatic SLR camera bodies and a growing bag full of second hand Asahi lenses. Those beautifully made lenses coupled with the fully manual camera bodies were instrumental in developing my understanding of light and metering. Even today 'M' (manual mode) still remains my preferred setting when shooting images. Since those early days I have taken many thousands of images, developing & printing my own black & white images, exploring both film and slide, and then moving into the magic of our current digital era.
My work over the years has included Wedding, Environmental Portraiture, Street, Travel, Landscape and Architecture and has been printed in National Geographic, Newspapers and Magazines.
I do hope you enjoy this small selection of my images on display here at Heart & Soul Gallery; I thank you for taking the time to view them.
"Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Melissa discovered her passion for realism at an early age, exploring with acrylics, sketches and moving into a more ‘Pop Art’ style during her early twenties.
Initially Melissa’s painting style used the dry brush technique, with acrylic paint. However, this was superseded in later years, with mentoring from New Zealand based artist Michael Mischewski, as she explored with oil paints, giving better depth of colour and flexibility in her work.
"I have an insatiable hunger for all things beautiful. My work reflects what I see in everyday living and I believe in sharing the love and deliciousness in what is truly magic”.
‘Pop Art’ and Realism have always influenced Melissa, interweaving her love of fashion, glamour and the female form. Her passion led her to a Diploma in Fashion, and this established a greater interest in fashion advertising, colour and structure.
This amalgamation of ideas established Melissa as the ‘New Pop Realism’ artist, fusing the commercial constructs of Pop Art and Photo Realism together.Melissa then moved to England for five years, completing two exhibitions and winning ‘Most Popular Painting Award’ in 2002.
She also worked extensively on international commissions, before returning home to New Zealand on larger collections.
Since then, her reputation as one of New Zealand’s most talented female artists has flourished. She has featured in several high profile publications including Her Magazine, Homestyle Magazine and Nightline.
In 2008 Sharplin’s sell out show, the iconic ‘Retro Nude’ collection, and has donated works to several charity events including; the Linwood High School Art Auction, the KIDSCAN ‘Stand Tall’ charity auction, and the Samoan Tsunami Relief Fund.
Demand for Melissa Sharplin’s work has grown exponentially. She now produces limited edition Giclee prints of her collections and exhibits new collections every year. "