Melissa Smith – Without a Sound

Those familiar with Melissa’s strikingly subliminal prints, will recognise a deep connection to Tasmania’s highland lakes. Without a Sound revisits Lake Sorell, Melissa’s place of refuge where she finds solace in the absence of human voices and man-made sounds. It is this ‘silent tranquility’ that underpins her latest collection: “This environment provides a sense of quietness, layered in its own history and stories,” Melissa explains. “The prints in the exhibition are a response to this particular landscape’s whispers.”

In Without a Sound we also view the largest work that Melissa has ever produced. Expressed in a series of 8 panels, Hushing Night takes us on a soundless nocturnal adventure with surrounding hills mirrored in the lake and wind patterns reflected on the water. But, her experimentation with larger scale works has also resulted in a ‘big triptych’ called Silent Beacon where Melissa shares her captivation with, “a giant dead eucalypt across the lake that gets the western light in the evening and just glows.”

Melissa’s palette also shifts with her use of softer and subtler colours. Layered in different shades of blue, we see hints of teal, green and grey reflecting the “turbid and often windswept waters of the lake.” All the prints in Without a Sound were created for Melissa’s 2021 solo show at the Devonport Regional Gallery.

Melissa Smith’s Without a Sound exhibition opens at Handmark Gallery on Friday, May 13 and runs until May 30. View exhibition here