A retrospective exhibition of the work of highly regarded local sculptor Melanie Wilks will open to the public at Batley Art Gallery on Saturday 21st November. Showcasing a range of Melanie’s artwork and also including drawings, the main focus of the exhibition will be more recent sculpture which strikes a balance between abstraction and figuration.
Artist Melanie has worked extensively in commissioned sculpture with many eye-catching works sited throughout the country. Several sculptures in Morley celebrate the town’s industrial past, whilst another depicts Ernie Wise ‘bringing sunshine’: at the age of thirteen Ernie won a talent competition at Morley Pavilion, and his statue is positioned facing towards that same pavilion, raising his hat as if in salutation to the starting place of his illustrious career in show business.
Other local sculptures that may be familiar include a series of mosaics at Woodkirk, and a statue of Harriet Tubman created for Black History Month and sited permanently at Huddersfield Library & Art Gallery. Harriet Tubman was an American bondwoman who escaped from slavery in the South to become a leading abolitionist before the American Civil War.
Melanie creates her sculptures at her studio on Mill Street West in Saviletown, Dewsbury. She teaches a wide variety of stone carving skills from her base in Dewsbury, and at other venues around the country.
Mark Milnes, Exhibitions Coordinator at the gallery, says “it’s unusual for us to have exhibitions of sculpture – particularly solo shows like this one. I think it’s quite a coup for the gallery to display pieces by someone working with the professionalism and consistency that Melanie shows.” Melanie’s website gives further details of her work - find out more at www.melaniewilks.com.
The exhibition runs until 30th January 2016 and entry is free.