The force that drives my work is an intention to create paintings which allude to a sensory experience of 'place'. Generally that ‘place’ will exist in the real world, and sometimes it will exist within the possibilities of painting.

It is always specific, there is a search within the work for something that is recognised through experience. It is a search for learning but also for familiarity. These are monuments of personal experience..moments in attempt to trap an incidence or an experience. I want to create a drawn space that exists somewhere between the use of an abstractly painted mark and a traditionally recognised space defining mark. Using a process based method which utilises gravity and chance discovery, I hope to find a place which is about the possibility of mark making, illusory space and an object which exists in three dimensions. ..Literally a play between painting, photographic illusion and sculpture.

Melanie Comber 2021

The concept of place is intrinsic to Comber’s work. The paintings are at once familiar but imbued with an apparent ambiguity – are they aerial photographs of a barren landscape? Or rather an image of material magnified to the point of abstraction? Comber demands a lot of the viewer as we navigate the surface, exploring the sense of depth, both illusory and real: drawn back by perspective lines but hovering on the surface where impasto-ed paint and dusted pigment create peaks and troughs. The titles of the works reinforce this emphasis on place and in fact are the foundation of and inform the direction of the painting. For they are less portraits of space and more self-portraits, charting Comber’s own deeply personal response to a particular place or experience.

Juliet Bailey 2011 (The Fine Art Society ISBN 978 0 9568215 1 5 )

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