Beautiful Illusions Melanie Colosimo & Charley Young


10 Jan 2015 – 8 Mar 2015
Beautiful Illusions presents works in graphic media by two young
Nova Scotian artists. Colosimo’s principal practice is drawing; Young favours drawing and indexical techniques, such as casting and monoprinting. For both, materials and process are key determinants of the meaning of their works. Themes of memory, transitory states and trace imagery pervade their art.

The title of the exhibition evokes the realism with which each artist renders subjects such as the façade of a wooden shack, a range of mountain peaks, or the intricate patterning of twisted wires in a chain-link fence. Virtuosic mimicry is not the only point of such images, however; “failures” such as smudges and anomalies of scale disrupt the illusions and remind viewers of the usually compliant but sometimes faltering hands and memories upon which the illusions depend.

OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, 17 January, 2 to 4pm.

ARTIST’S TALK & WORKSHOP Saturday, 28 February, 2
to 4pm. Following a discussion of her work, Young will lead a
workshop exploring textures through the art of frottage.

The Arctic Circle Program

This past June I completed a residency aboard a Barquentine Ship through the fjords of Svalbard, located within 1333 kms of the North Pole. Spitsbergen, the main island of Svalbard, is host to stunning black and white mountains, hundred's of active glaciers and rich wildlife, all of which I was lucky to observe during my time North. We sailed some hard sea's, reached a latitude of 80.5 degrees North and I took over 4000 photographs which will inspire my work for years to come. Here is a peek into this magnificent landscape and the ice rubbing project I was developing on land.

Support Provided by Nova Scotia Arts and Maine College of Art's Artists at Work program. 

Ideas of North

Works from Signature of the Summit, installed in the River Bend Smelt Fishing Camps, Bowdoinham, Maine, as a part of 'Ideas of North' presented by the ICA at the Maine College of Art.


 Photo Credit: Stratton McCrady |  This photograph continues to shock me. In so many ways it was a premonition of what was to come. 

Photo Credit: Stratton McCrady |

This photograph continues to shock me. In so many ways it was a premonition of what was to come. 

Inside the Studio

This summer, Gabriella Sturchio paid a visit to my studio in Portland, Maine in preparation for an article to be published this Fall in MECA's Magazine. Here are her photographs from her visit.

 Temporary Studio in Portland Maine, at the Maine College of Art. 

Temporary Studio in Portland Maine, at the Maine College of Art. 

Vermont Studio Centre

Ann Hamilton at the Armory

I had the great pleasure of seeing Ann Hamilton's latest installation, The Event of a Thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. It would be an understatement to say that this exhibition has and will continue to influence me. At this point in my Graduate Studies this installation answered some questions I have been contemplating in my studio, mainly how to invite participation in an authentic manner. I appreciated Hamilton's utilization of her audience and their uninhibited willingness to participate. The body is a beautiful thing on a swing. It is self sufficient in it's mechanics and elegant in it's movement. On a swing, children and adults alike get wrapped up in play and behave in a utopic way, one that perpetuates sharing and collaboration; each participant pushing their friend for ultimate excitement, and then alternating roles. Swinging is an activity that most of us are familiar with or are capable of learning immediately. This installation gave the audience a purpose. They activated the work, initiating the movement and flutter of the glowing white curtain. 

As my two classmates and I left the installation, we were all in agreement that art is, or should be MAGIC. 

Charley Young- she swung until they kicked her out. Seriously, the Armory closes at 7 pm. 


1800 Granville Street, Halifax NS

"All inhabited space bears the essence or notion of home"
- Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard

The Macara Barnstead Building located at 1800 Granville Street in Halifax served as a home to me. It was a place of employment but it was also a place of stability and comfort. Built in 1825 this historic property had seen numerous occupants ranging from Neal White and Company; a dry goods vendor, Miller Bros: piano and organ agents, J.P. Hagarty Musical Warehouse, Barnstead’s Drug Store and most recently a simple convenience store and The Flower Shop Ltd.

Dwarfed by the scale of the surrounding bank buildings the Macara/ Barnstead Building is currently experiencing a state of vulnerability. It is raw, exposed, stripped to the bone. For the past few weeks I've been documenting it's transition from a intact and usable site to a fragmented deconstruction and soon, it will rest as a braced facade. 

In April, with the helping hand of many friends we printed the facade of the Macara Barnstead building, using a manlift. This fall I am completing the project about this site. The printed fabric is unpacked from its rubber made storage container and is in various states of alteration. The final piece will be a large scale (43' x 40') fabric installation, using polyester drapery fabric, interfacing, tarp, oxidized cotton and dyed cotton rope. More photos to come as the project evolves. 

To see pictures of the printing of the facade follow this link
Photo credit thanks to Steve Farmer Photography

Support for this project has been provided by Nova Scotia Community, Culture and Heritage

 Study drawing

Study drawing




It's been an exciting but busy summer that started by leaving my position at NSCAD University to quickly complete a time sensitive project about the Macara-Barnstead Building in Halifax. Before I knew it I moved out of my beloved apartment, temporarily adopted my cat out to a few friends and was hitting the sky ways bound for the Yukon and eventually back east to start my Master's Degree in Portland Maine.

I've been fortunate to experience some incredible places, commit to my artistic practice and meet many new friends this summer. Now that I'm back in Halifax it seems fitting to take some time to reflect on these experiences as already, they already seem so far way.