Church of The Feminine
The artist created a body of outdoor installations at Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Italy fall 2012. These were interactive pieces inspired by the Church of St. Francis, which is one of the highlights Assisi. At the artist residency she chose to interact with the environment she was in and create artwork in association to her surroundings. Since Assisi is a place of christian pilgrimage she decided to connect that to her art and create her own pilgrimage on the hills of Mount Subasio. This was not a religious sort of pilgrimage, but a journey for self-worship and reflection. Melissa designed four stations along the way for the viewer to take a moment to focus in and become aware of themselves and their environment. The final stop was a small "church" titled La Tua Chiesa, Italian for Your Church. She built this form with natural materials she found in the landscape, commenting on the oppressive and opulent structures of the Catherdral of St. Francis. She was in a beautiful natural environment and wanted her artwork to eventually return back to the landscape it was built from. This concept speaks to ideas of impermanence and life-cycles. To break away from the monotonous routines of life and revel in the unique present provides her audience with a chance for enlightenment among a busy and distracting world. The Pilgrimage of the Power Woman also touches on topics of feminism and female empowerment from a personal perspective, derived from Melissa's Power Women collage series.
Melissa created a series of photos using her female power symbol, the triangle. Using this symbol she shot photos in different locations in Assisi during her artist residency, as an exploration of where one could find their inner power and display a feminine strength. She shot the symbol in front of mountains, clouds, and waterfalls, emphasizing the wonder of the natural world that provides to our needs and the curiosity of it’s design