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In Your Dreams

In Your Dreams

Melissa Egan
18 April 2020 - 6 May 2020


This April, celebrated artist, Melissa Egan, returns to Wagner Contemporary with her highly anticipated new body of work, "In Your Dreams". These paintings take lyrical inspiration from her country home in rural Queensland. Each day, according to Egan, the bushland at her doorstep "sets the stage for something unexpected to happen."  

The mood of the landscape and random natural events that unfold in Melissa Egan’s back yard inspires her portrayal of the animals and characters that take centre stage in each magnificent dreamscape. Each canvas is an impression of utopia, representing an “idyllic world” in the artist’s eyes. Although her visual narratives stimulate humour at first, upon introspection they articulate an unconscious set of emotions that language cannot express.

Each scene, inspired by the pleasures of everyday life, explores the longings and yearnings we hold deeply inside. Love and romance are characterised by mood and reflected in symbolism. And subtle signs of hope, dreams and fears add complexity to each character’s social engagement and expression of love. The power of the landscape is consistent throughout Egan’s work: its vastness, colour and light, and its sense of the unknown; even the loneliness that is perhaps its bedfellow. Engaging in these works, unknowing of the narratives they enact, you cannot look away.

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).  

WATCH Melissa Egan