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Biography

Melanie Billark is an emerging, multi-disciplinary, Toronto based artist. Her body of work surrounds themes of social and political issues that effect and surround principals of ecology. Her work strives to create awareness to various environmental issues within the public sphere.

Melanie achieved an advanced diploma in 2011 at Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program for glass in Oakville, ON. She majored in kiln forming and minored in sand casting. Following her degree she completed a year artist residency at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, ON, in 2012. Melanie’s glasswork has been showed in a number of galleries and displayed in various spaces across the GTA. Such venues include Toronto’s Pearson Airport, OCC, and has participated in a number of local arts and craft based shows.

Through this experience Melanie's trajectory began to shift, realizing that she no longer wanted to contribute more objects into this over-filled world and add to consumer culture. Melanie's priorities as an artist drastically shifted allowing her to find a way to consider what she can do for the environment, allowing her practice to become a form of restoration and process of healing.  

Graduate of OCADU's Sculpture and Installation program, obtaining her BFA. Melanie has participated in a number of local shows across the GTA such venues include Lonsdale Gallery, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto Pearson Airport, and Xpace Cultural Centre.  Melanie has also shown Internationally at Treefort Gallery and created a Community Based Installation at Kidfort, both part of Treefort Music Fest 2018 in Boise, Id.

Melanie has also participated in a variety of community based projects such as: designer and creator of PLAYstations at Aurora Early Learning Centre, guest artist in Akin Collective's Earth Day Clean Up, Artist in Coxwell Laneway Project. 



Artist Statement

Throughout history humans have had a negative impact on natural systems within the environment. We have constantly taken natural resources in order to survive, changing and interfering with natural systems in order to adapt and accommodate our ever-changing lifestyles. How can this process of interference become a process of healing, mending, or repairingour relationship with nature?

My practice sheds light on these social and political issues that effect and surround principals of ecology. Within my work I attempt to bring awareness to certain issues that concern and petrify me. I often create work that activates public spaces and encourages public engagement, while incorporating the process of re-wilding.

I often question our impact and relationship, including my own, with the natural environment and convey these contemplations through sculpture, site-specific interventions, and performance-based work.


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