The day-to-day activities of Australian life in rural, bush and historical settings provide an immediate point of reference in Egan’s paintings, yet her subjects always relate within and perform against extraordinary backdrops. Within vibrant panoramas, wonderful and colourful sky-scapes often provide important physical and emotional context. And within each sub-text and narrative, something familiar is transformed by the surreal.
The artist's new body of work transports the viewer from the everyday to an escapist place or other-world, where events and fables and allegories take an unusual turn or reveal surprising twists. Egan's paintings are enigmatic and beguiling. Her landscapes and scenes are described with brilliant colour and light, drawing our eye's focus to story and detail, yet emotional mood and the use of symbolism evoke the intangible and unknown.
Melissa Egan's work has recently been selected for the King's School Art Prize (2019) and the Tattersall's Landscape Art Prize (2018). She is a past Winner of the Members' Choice Award of the Tattersall's Landscape Art Prize (2018) and was Highly Commended by the judges two years in a row (2016 and 2017).