Koh Living - Who is Melanie Hava?

Koh Living - Who is Melanie Hava?

Who is Melanie Hava?

Over the last couple of years you have loved Melanie's Kinship artwork. We thought you would like to find out a little more about this amazing mother, partner and artist. Melanie lives in Cairns with her partner Dale and three children. She has a daughter Katie aged 11, and 2 boys Jacob aged 9 and Harley aged 9 months. Her daughter Katie has Spina Bifida. Melanie's biggest challenge in the last 12 months has been juggling her artwork with her new baby Harley, who has this week started walking! Melanie's husband Dale is a mental health worker. She feels very blessed to have him as she herself has suffered over the years with bouts of severe depression. We asked Melanie a few questions for us to learn a little more about her life as an artist.

1 . What/who has been the greatest influence in the direction of your life, that is, in becoming a painter?

Painting has always been something that I loved and came naturally to me, even from a very young age. On one of my visits to my Oma in Austria I noticed Gustav Klimt’s work and immediately fell in love with his use of patterns and gold. His work has been a huge inspiration to my own ever since.

2. What have you learned through your work as a painter?

I have learnt that if I work hard and stick to a routine with my art, take pride in my work and pay attention to details, everything else will fall into place – for example, making a living and supporting my family off my art.

3. What do you wish to express through your paintings? For future generations? Your legacy?

I want people to look at my work and feel joy – if they’re having a bad day and they happen to see my work, that they’d feel a bit better. At one point in my life I was struggling with my identity in my art – was I Austrian or Aboriginal? I knew I was both but reconciling my work to how it is today took a lot of self exploration and thought. I got to a point where I wanted to move past focusing on my upbringing to creating what I felt inspired to paint without there necessarily having to be a story for it; to paint what comes from my heart.

4. What are your favourite themes and how do you arrive at the decision to paint a certain theme?

My favourite thing to paint would be my birds. I like to capture their playfulness. When I start with a painting, I usually let the background decide where or how I’m going to place the birds, or sometimes I put the birds in first and paint the background around them!

5. What ambitions do you have for your future as a painter?

I would love to be able to travel to International Art Fairs and (also) have my work displayed (there). I would also like to travel around Australia and be a part of the Aboriginal Art Fairs every year. At the moment I don’t want to have any big exhibitions because I have an almost 9 month old baby. But, when he goes to school I’d like to get back into having exhibitions again – probably in Melbourne with Manyung Gallery and Tali Gallery in Sydney!

6. How do you view the future of aboriginal art?

There are so many new and young artists coming on the scene creating truly unique and beautiful work. In Cairns we have the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. I go every year and I am inspired by the wonderful creations there, not just in paintings but in 3D Artworks, innovative installations and fashion. I think Aboriginal Art has an exciting future and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Don't forget to log in and view Melanie's new products here. Koh X