Melanie Colosimo: What keeps things together, when things fall apart


Melanie Colosimo, Chain-Link Fence, 2014 (detail), graphite on black paper with sections cut out. Image courtesy of the artist

Melanie Colosimo
What keeps things together, when things fall apart

January 17 – March 7, 2020

Elevener: January 16, 2020, 11 am
The Elevener is an ongoing public program at 11 am on the third Thursday of every month. The Newfoundland Dictionary of English defines an elevener or levener as a drink and light snack taken over vigorous discussion at 11 am. As always, admission is free and all are welcome.

Reception: January 17, 2020, 7 – 9 pm
Grenfell Art Gallery, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Grenfell Art Gallery is pleased to present the first museum solo exhibition of the work of Halifax artist Melanie Colosimo: What keeps things together, when things fall apart. Opening January 17 the exhibition features a large of body of new and recent work representing a turn in Colosimo’s art as her rigorous highly-detailed drawing practice takes sculptural form. Over the last five years large-scale drawings depicting fences as fallible devices of inclusion and exclusion have served as an impetus for the adaptation of utilitarian materials often associated with construction, such as pylons and safety vests, toward the creation of dynamic sculpture. Ingenious in her use of simple material, Colosimo draws out larger themes of collectivity, access and care, critically examining notions of progress, gender inequality and proto-masculinity in the process. A key figure in the National and Atlantic Canadian Art scene, Colosimo has been in residence at Grenfell Art Gallery through Memorial University’s School of Fine Arts at Grenfell Campus Corner Brook since January 5.


Melanie Colosimo, Transmission Tower I, 2019 (installation view), reflective tape, Air Mesh, grommets. Image courtesy of the artist

Colosimo says of her work: “My subjects are temporary utilitarian objects that connote construction, a ‘work in progress’ or the formative states. They are symbols of liminality, thresholds between a previous state of being and the next phase. I explore this liminal state; not only through the completion of a work but also during the phases of creation and process.” Curated by Grenfell Art Gallery Director Matthew Hills, What keeps things together, when things fall apart opens inquiries into the structures that seemingly ensure our collective care and safety, the negotiation of trauma, and the generative power of collective action born from necessity and resourcefulness.


Melanie Colosimo, Chain-Link Fence, 2014, graphite on black paper with sections cut out. Image courtesy of the artist

Melanie Colosimo received a BFA from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB (2006) and an MFA from the University of Windsor, in Windsor, ON (2011). Her work has been screened and exhibited in festivals and galleries internationally and across Canada such as AKA Gallery (SK) the Art Gallery of Windsor (ON), the Atlantic Film Festival (NS), Eastern Edge Gallery (NL), and Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery (NS). Her work is currently travelling southern China as part of the exhibition Maud Lewis and the Nova Scotia Terrior. She has participated in a variety of residencies such as the CFAT local Artist in Residence, University of Windsor Research Residency and the Banff Centre’s Thematic Residencies and at the Vermont Studio Centre in Johnson, Vermont.

Grenfell Art Gallery
The public art gallery for Western Newfoundland and the university art gallery for Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Art Gallery is located on the Grenfell Campus of Memorial in the city of Corner Brook in Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Western Newfoundland), traditional unceded Mi’kmaw territory. As the only gallery in Newfoundland and Labrador focused solely on the visual arts, Grenfell Art Gallery cultivates a radical engagement with art and art history through a year-round program of exhibitions and outreach activities that are accessible, relevant, and experimental. As an educational resource for the Visual Arts Program, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and the public gallery for Corner Brook and the Western Newfoundland region the gallery engages in collaborative partnerships with like-minded local, regional, national and international artists, organizations and institutions.

A space of innovation, public engagement and experiential learning, Grenfell Art Gallery features a 2,000 sq. ft. climate controlled exhibition space and is charged with the stewardship of an active collection of contemporary and historical art, specializing in, but not limited to, the art of Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to year-round programming, the gallery undertakes numerous outreach initiatives and offers residency opportunities throughout the province.

Grenfell Art Gallery is an accessible space. For further information on our exhibitions, residencies, and public programs subscribe to our newsletter or follow Grenfell Art Gallery on Facebook: @GrenfellArtGallery | Twitter: @GrenfellGallery | Instagram: GrenfellArtGallery

Grenfell Art Gallery | Memorial University of Newfoundland
Corner Brook, NL A2H 5G4 | t 709.637.6209