Melissa Bell Gunditjmara/Yorta Yorta people

Melissa is a proud Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta woman who paints where she comes from, her totem and her Country. She likes to represent her Country and culture in bright colours and striking patterns, such as diamonds to represent fishing spots and dots to represent waterholes.

‘Making art makes me feel connected to my land. To be an Aboriginal female artist, just to put down a beautiful picture from my Country - knowing I can put that down on a canvas and express my Country to other people is amazing.’

Melissa believes that ‘art has always been a part of me’ but being a part of The Torch has changed her life. She has been able to get her artwork out into the world, which she thinks has kept her out of prison and saved her life.